Chris Campbell, who has received an apology from the
police, is wanting to get on with his life. Photo by
A Dunedin driver who lost his leg after his truck
collided with a cow holds no grudge against police.
Yesterday, police issued a statement accepting the findings
of the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA).
The findings prompted an apology to Chris Campbell, after
police failed to correctly follow up reports of wandering
The 47-year-old remembers nothing of the early morning crash
which cost him his right leg on June 1, 2012.
''That is not a bad thing,'' he said from his Brockville home
He was driving his truck laden with fresh fruit and
vegetables on the Clinton-Mataura Rd when the late-model
Kenworth collided with a Highland cow.
Passing motorists found the unconscious driver ''bleeding
out'' and emergency services, including a helicopter, were
called to the scene at 3.32am.
Mr Campbell, who turned down an official handwritten apology
from police and was not seeking compensation, said ''to me,
the matter is over and done with''.
As well as having his leg amputated, Mr Campbell received
head injuries, underwent seven major operations and 23 blood
transfusions and faces a lifetime of rehabilitation, but said
he bore no grudge against police.
''I still don't blame the police. At the end of the day it is
the cocky who is at fault,'' Mr Campbell said. He has never
heard from the farmer.
''If he wanted to, he would have contacted me.''
The IPCA reported a Police Southern Communications Centre
communicator failed to record key information - including the
rural address property identification (Rapid) number - after
an earlier emergency call the morning of the accident. That
meant police were sent to a general area to look for
Crucially, this placed them 3.5km short of the Rapid number,
later found to be 750m short of the crash site.
No wandering stock were found.
A second call to the same communicator resulted in him
telling the caller police were aware of the incident.
He failed to create a new event which would have resulted in
the dispatcher alerting police again.
IPCA chairman Judge Sir David Carruthers found the
communicator ''failed to record pertinent information
regarding location'' and ''failed to record the new
information as required by the police call-taking
Southern Communications Centre manager Inspector Kieren
Kortegast said police had met Mr Campbell and apologised to
him about the failure.
''The staff member in question missed the opportunity to
prevent a collision that has caused serious injury to a
member of the public,'' Insp Kortegast said.
It was found the communicator had not received Rapid number
training, which he had since attended. He was the subject of
Since the accident, Mr Campbell had been overwhelmed by the
care from medical staff at Dunedin Hospital and support from
While his truck-driving days were over, he hoped to find work
as a dispatcher.
And today, after ''four months bouncing around on one leg'',
he takes possession of his new artificial leg.