A Tasmania Police officer involved in a two-car crash, in which a pedestrian died, has not yet been formally interviewed.
The incident occurred when the police car was under lights, but had no sirens, Tasmania Police has clarified.
A silver Mitsubishi Lancer and the police car collided, causing the police vehicle to roll and spin out about 30 metres away from the initial impact.
A woman from NSW has been transferred from the Launceston General Hospital to Melbourne in a critical condition. She was involved in a two-car crash in Launceston's CBD on Monday evening. Her husband died as a result of the incident that involved a police car. @ExaminerOnline— Tarlia Jordan (@tarliaj14) January 7, 2020
Two pedestrians were hit as the car was spinning. A NSW man died, and his wife has been taken to an interstate hospital.
Initial reports said the vehicle had both lights and sirens while on its way to an urgent duty at Youngtown but acting Deputy Commissioner Jonathan Higgins said initial investigations suggested it was just lights.
The officer, who has more than a decade of experience in the force, was taken to the Launceston General Hospital. He was released on Tuesday morning.
Mr Higgins said the officer might be interviewed on Tuesday but it would depend on his injuries.
There is no issue with having lights, without sirens, Mr Higgins said.
"You can have one without the other. It can be a combination of both," he said.
"There is also an exemption of the road rules for [police to enter red lights]."
Mr Higgins said the officer makes the decision of whether the turn on the lights and sirens, or just one when they receive the call. He said it's part of the risk assessment officers do when they are first called for assistance.
A #NSW male pedestrian has died after a crash involving a police car and another vehicle on Monday evening. His wife remains in a critical condition in the Launceston General Hospital. The pair are from the Hunter Valley and their next of kin has been notified. @ExaminerOnline— Tarlia Jordan (@tarliaj14) January 7, 2020
A Professional Standards interview started on Monday evening, with a team from Hobart. It is unknown how long the investigation might take.
"It'll be as long as it takes to fully investigate, it could be months," Mr Higgins said.
"This will be fully investigated and there will be no stone left unturned."
It is the second crash involving a police car under lights in Launceston. This incident follows a crash on December 25, where a police vehicle hit a tow truck.
"These are unfortunate. But unfortunately policing is a very risky business. Police officers have to do considerable risk assessments when attending incidents," Mr Higgins said.
"Going through intersections on urgent duty drives is sometimes necessitated."
A male pedestrian has died during a two-car #crash in Launceston. The crash involves a #police car that was travelling with lights and sirens, and another vehicle with four occupants. Investigations are expected to occur through the night. @ExaminerOnlinepic.twitter.com/yp4I7Sus4R— Tarlia Jordan (@tarliaj14) January 6, 2020
There are a number of criteria in the urgent duty driving instructions and procedures for police officers to follow.
The officer has not been stood down, and Mr Higgins does not know if the officer will be returned to active duty following his recovery.
ROADS TO BE CLOSED FOR INVESTIGATION:
Roads around the Paterson Street scene will be closed again on Tuesday evening.
Northern Crash Investigation Services will be undertaking investigations in relation to the pedestrian fatality at the intersection.
The intersection will be closed for about two hours from 6pm.
Traffic diversions for vehicles will be in place at the following locations:
- Intersection of St John Street and Cameron Street
- Intersection of St John Street and Brisbane Street
- Intersection of Paterson Street and Charles Street
Motorists are asked to avoid the area and the patience and understanding of the community is appreciated.
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