The first policeman on the scene of a crash which police
tried to blame on a truck driver for using his mobile phone
says there was never any suggestion the truckie was at fault.
Police earlier this month launched a series of YouTube clips
promoting a road safety campaign, with one video blaming a
truck driver for causing a high-speed crash.
They have since apologised to the people involved in the
crash, but the road police officer first on the scene and who
filed the evidence in court for the prosecution of a female
car driver at fault said the truck driver was innocent.
"I was the lead officer and the first on the scene. Basically
they have misrepresented the information they have been
presented with. There was no suggestion right throughout the
case of evidence of a cellphone," Matt Bourne said.
Mr Bourne, who is no longer a police officer, said he arrived
at the scene of the motorway crash in Auckland and quickly
worked out who was at fault.
The truck driver was breath tested and passed, he said, and
there was no mobile phone found in his cab.
Mr Bourne said it seemed someone "has seen the footage and
thought, 'We can use this,' and fabricated something. I can't
believe they've done that."
In the crash, which police sold in their YouTube
advertisement as "Real CCTV footage of a truck driver who
crashes while using his mobile", car driver Simon Cathcart
was seen to flip at least six times after being struck from
the side by another car.
Mr Cathcart said police had subsequently advised him the
woman driving the other car was charged with careless driving
causing injury, and pleaded guilty to the charge.
On Monday, police road policing manager Superintendent Carey
Griffiths phoned both Mr Cathcart and the truck driver to
- Sam Boyer of the NZ Herald