A teenage girl has been left battered and bruised after crashing into a marked police car that was allegedly parked in the middle of the road with its lights off.
The 16-year-old, whose name the Times has withheld, says she drove into the back of the police vehicle on Bucklands Beach Road at around 11.30pm on Saturday.
“Two police cars driving on opposite sides of the road had stopped to talk through the window. They had no lights on so I couldn’t see them and by the time I did it was too late,” she says.
While she is on her restricted license and was in breach of the conditions of her license by driving past 10pm, she and her family are shocked by how she was treated by police following the crash.
“They accused me of being drunk, and left me sitting in the crashed car alone while they moved the police car I had hit,” she says.
The teen contacted her brother who arrived shortly after.
When he arrived he says his sister was drifting in and out of consciousness and the car she had hit had been moved.
“I couldn’t understand why no police officer was sitting with her to make sure she was okay, or had called an ambulance,” her brother Jamie says.
Jamie says he too was accused of drunk driving, despite having not had anything to drink, at which point he got upset and was arrested. He was later released without charge.
“They said I was being arrested for drunk driving, and then when my breath alcohol test came back negative, they changed their reason to the fact that I was [interfering with] their investigation.”
The teen’s sister-in-law arrived at the scene and went to her aide.
She was later taken to hospital where she was found to have whiplash, a sprained right leg, a slight concussion and chest bruising. Her blood alcohol test was negative.
“We are just really shocked by how the police have handled the whole situation. Nobody was concerned with getting help for my daughter, and more interested in moving the police cars so that nobody on their end got in trouble,” the teen’s father Michael says.
Her car is “totalled” he says, and insurance won’t pay out because she was in breach of her restricted license rules. He says the only way to have the damages covered by insurance is to prove the police were at fault for the crash.
Now the family is trying to get dash cam footage from the police vehicles involved and an admission of fault from the police.
A police spokesperson told the Times that an investigation is underway.
“Police are investigating a crash that occurred on Bucklands Beach Road involving a stationary marked police vehicle and a vehicle driven by a member of the public,” the spokesperson says.
“It occurred shortly before midnight on Saturday as two police vehicles were attending a nearby incident at the time. The exact circumstances are still being looked into and we are still speaking to all parties involved.”