Man killed and woman critical following police crash
HORRIFIED members of the public ran to assist two pedestrians hit by a spinning police car after it crashed with another vehicle at a city intersection in Launceston.
The couple, in their 40s, were visiting Tasmania from the Hunter Valley in NSW and taking a stroll in the city at about 8.30pm on Monday night.
A police car, being driven by a male on-duty officer on his way to a job in the suburb of Youngtown, went through a red light at the intersection of St John and Paterson streets with lights flashing but no sirens activated.
He collided with a Lancer sedan. The police car spun and then rolled, sliding on its roof for 20-30 metres down Paterson St.
As it spun out of control it hit the couple who were crossing the street.
The male pedestrian died at the scene. The woman was flown to Melbourne's Alfred Hospital in a critical condition on Tuesday afternoon.
"The public rendered assistance at the severely traumatic scene they encountered," Acting Deputy Commissioner Jonathan Higgins said.
Northern Crash Investigation Services will be undertaking more investigations at the scene tonight.
The intersection will be closed for about two hours from 6pm.
Traffic diversions for vehicles will be in place at the intersection of St John St and Cameron St, St John St and Brisbane St, and Paterson St and Charles St.
The man is the second tourist to be killed walking on Tasmania's streets in two days.
An elderly woman who was exploring Burnie after disembarking from a cruise ship was killed after being hit by a bus in Wilson St.
Another police car was involved in a collision in Launceston on Christmas Day - injuring the two officers inside.
The marked car was travelling on York St with emergency lights activated when it collided with a tow truck hauling a van on Bathurst St.
The Police Association of Tasmania expressed condolences to the family of the pedestrian killed and said union members had visited the police officer involved, offering support and guidance.
Tasmania Police has also offered its condolences to the family of the visiting couple who have children.
"This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family of the deceased man and the woman currently in hospital," Mr Higgins said.
The police officer and a female passenger of the silver Lancer have been discharged from the Launceston General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Mr Higgins said a Professional Standards investigation into the incident was underway to determine the circumstances surrounding the crash.
"I would like to recognise the admirable efforts of those members of the public who came to the aid of the people involved and provided assistance until emergency services arrived on the scene a short time later," Mr Higgins said.
"This is a traumatic incident for everyone involved, and we will also be providing support to those emergency services workers who have been affected."
Anyone with information should contact Police on 131444 or report anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or crimestopperstas.com.au