Crash scars family

By KATE McINTOSH THE shock of seeing their young son flung through the air is forever etched in the memories of Bernie and Grace Vidler. The Tweed couple yesterday maintained a vigil at their son's hospital bedside after he was struck by a police car on Sunday. Five-year-old Luke Vidler was hit by the police vehicle while crossing the road on Kennedy Drive near Scales fish and chip takeaway about 3.45pm. The family, who had been picnicking in Ray Pascoe Park, were returning to their parked vehicle when the accident occurred. The boy was taken to Tweed Hospital with minor injuries and later transferred to Gold Coast Hospital for further treatment. Speaking to the Daily News from her son's hospital bedside, a still visibly shaken Grace Vidler said she continued to relive the accident. "As long as I live I will never forget that (the accident)," Ms Vidler said. "It's like a mark. It's never going to go away." The boy's 12-year-old sister Elyssa, who also witnessed Sunday's incident, described the accident in vivid detail. "It all happened so fast. He was like a bowling ball. He did a complete 360 (degree turn) through the air." Bernie Vidler, who has taken time off from his job as a bricklayer to be with his family, said his son was lucky to have escaped more serious injury. "I couldn't believe it was happening even though I was watching it with my own eyes," said Mr Vidler of witnessing his son's accident. "We're just so lucky to have him with us still. It could have been so much worse." The Vidler's yesterday expressed anger at police actions, saying the officer involved appeared to be driving without due care. Several witnesses at the scene also reported seeing the car accelerate at the time of the accident. The Daily News sought comment from Tweed Police yesterday but was advised there were no authorised officers on duty available to comment. A spokeswoman for NSW Police said the officer was not engaged in a pursuit at the time of the accident. The spokeswoman advised police investigations remained ongoing. "After any accident there is an investigation and this is no different," the spokeswoman said. Kennedy Drive residents said the busy stretch of road was a notorious blackspot, with accidents occurring on a regular basis.



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