(MENAFN Press) (EMAILWIRE.COM, November 12, 2012 ) Victoria, Australia -- Both a taxi driver and an English tourist were pronounced dead after arriving in Western Australia following being struck by a stolen 4WD under police surveillance.
The four-wheel-drive vehicle slammed into the taxi just before 2 a.m. at the intersection of Orrong Road and Leach Highway.
Thirty-six-year-old British tourist had arrived in Perth and was making his way to the city. He would have been in WA for just over one hour if he had lived.
Police helicopters had been following the 4WD overhead, as it went along the road at high speeds. The debris that had been thrown about from the accident stretched across the road in large patches, implying speeds were indeed far above the mandated amount for the road.
The 28-year-old taxi driver, who is believed to be of Indian descent, and the passenger died at the scene.
It was learned that the U.K. tourist was a physics doctor, and planned a two-week trip to Perth for a conference he was attending. The driver of the taxi was a resident of WA with his wife and family.
A police chase for what is believe to be the same 4WD was abandoned when the driver was allegedly traveling without lights and the pursuit became too dangerous' to continue.
Crash investigators interviewed the 23-year-old driver at Royal Perth Hospital, where he is currently recovering from surgery after breaking his leg in the collision. He is being charged with two counts of manslaughter.
Assistant Police Commissioner Gary Budge stated that a road pursuit had been aborted less than six kilometers from the crash when the helicopter reported that the vehicle had its headlights turned off.
Budge confirmed that a police helicopter was tracking the car at the moment of the crash, and believed the police filmed the collision from the air.
"The police helicopter maintained observations of the vehicle which subsequently crashed some time later at the Kewdale intersection,'' he said.
"I want to emphasize that there is no evidence at this time to suggest the vehicle was being pursued at the time of the crash.''
Budge extended heartfelt condolences to the families of the men who died at the scene.
"It is difficult to imagine the trauma that two families must be feeling out there today and I want to pass on my condolences to both of those families and tell them we will provide all the support that is possible to both of them,'' he said.
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