In-car video footage to clear police officer

By BRAD RICKS

TWEED police say in-car video footage is likely to clear an officer of any negligence in last weekend's accident during which a five-year-old boy was struck by a patrol car on Kennedy Drive.

An internal inquiry has been underway since last Sunday into the accident, which left West Tweed's Luke Vidler with minor injuries.

Luke and his parents, Bernie and Grace Vidler, had been to Ray Pascoe Park for a picnic and were returning to their vehicle when the accident took place at about 3.45pm.

The boy was taken to Tweed Heads Hospital and later transferred to Gold Coast Hospital to receive further treatment.

A number of witnesses to the incident told the Daily News on the day of the accident that they felt the car had accelerated before hitting the boy.

The investigation is in its final stages with police still to inform Mr and Mrs Vidler of their findings last night.

However, Inspector Ross Wilkinson said yesterday that in-car video footage proved that this was not the case.

"At this stage police have eliminated speed as a factor in this incident," he said. "The tapes show that the car wasn't travelling at speed when the boy was hit."

Insp Wilkinson said the footage caught on video camera, which are fitted to all NSW Police cars, also indicate that the boy ran onto the road, directly into the path of the vehicle.

"At this stage of the investigation we have every confidence that our officer has acted in a correct manner," he said.

"We are certain that he was not speeding."

The findings of the investigation are likely to come as little comfort for the Vidlers, who remained at their son's hospital bedside earlier this week.

While the family could not be reached yesterday for comment on Monday Mrs Vidler told the Daily News how she could not shake the image of the accident.

"As long as I live I will never forget that," she told the Daily News.



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