A tragic accident has claimed the life of a 16-year old male after he was arrested for aggressive behavior on a street in Ipswich, in the south-west of the Queensland capital of Brisbane.
According to local media reports, the boy was intercepted by police on Albion Street after members of the public reported seeing a man ‘carrying a machete’ in the area late last Saturday night.
Ian Stewart, the Deputy Police Commissioner, spoke to the media in the aftermath of the incident. He described how police confronted the youth, who officers described as ‘aggressive’, and used the threat of a taser to get him to comply. Mr Stewart said that the police “took steps to deal with [the aggressive teenager] and this person made his own choice to immediately comply and lie down on the road once the Taser was presented to him.”
However, tragedy would struck soon after, as a passing car drove directly over the 16-year old, causing serious injuries. Police on the scene reportedly tried to warn the approaching motorist before she struck the man, but they failed to attract her attention in time.
The heavily-injured teenager was rushed to Ipswich General Hospital, but he was pronounced dead on arrival. Local media has reported that the incident is being investigated by the Ethical Standards Command and is being treated as ‘a death in custody’. The driver who struck the teen will not face any charges over the incident.
Saturday was a terrible night on Queensland roads, with the death of a 10-year old girl in Rockhampton also under investigation. In that incident, the victim and a friend were standing on an unlit section of a road when she was struck by a car. An ambulance was summoned but the girl died at the scene.
Public safety officials are pleading with motorists and pedestrians to take more care on the state’s roads in the light of the recent fatalities. “Our road toll per capita is far higher than New South Wales, or Victoria,” said one safety official. “More needs to be done about public education, and we want the government to investigate penalties to make people take more responsibility.”
In 2008, the Queensland road toll was 327 fatalities, which was actually 33 fewer than the previous year and below the five-year average. Of those 327, 140 fatalities were drivers, while 79 were passengers. Only 30 of those killed last year were pedestrians.