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Police car involved in crash was looking for driver on mobile phone

| 07.09,18. 03:22 AM |

Police car involved in crash was looking for driver on mobile phone

A police car and Mercedes involved in a serious collision in Cronulla.
Photo: John Veage

A highway patrol car was searching for a driver reportedly using a mobile phone before it collided with a Mercedes in Cronulla on Wednesday, police have confirmed.

The collision at the intersection of Kingsway and Connels Road left the driver of the Mercedes, named in media reports as 68-year-old Gai Vieira, fighting for her life in St George Hospital.

A two-year-old boy in the car with her was unhurt, while the 40-year-old senior constable driving the police vehicle received facial injuries.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy would not comment on whether the patrol car had its lights and sirens going.

However, he did confirm that the senior constable driving it had received a report of a driver in the area using their mobile phone.

"That highway patrol car was in the process of locating that car and speaking to the driver about their use of a mobile phone," Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

"That hadn’t happened when the collision occurred."

He said the driver of the police car had been in hospital until 7pm on Wednesday night and "will be interviewed as soon as possible".

Investigators were still "making inquiries into the facts surrounding the collision", reviewing available footage and interviewing witnesses, he said.

Police had already received some dashcam footage, he said, and urged anyone else who might have dashcam footage of the incident to come forward.

"We have a number of people who have spoken with us already and we’ve received a number of different versions of the crash. We’re going through this meticulously. We have very experienced crash investigators looking at this."

Assistant Commissioner Corboy said investigators are hoping to complete their inquiries as quickly as possible.

"This is a tragic incident ... during an operation, the last thing we want to do is be involved in a crash with a member of the public and our thoughts are with the family at this stage."

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