Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Boat tragedy: mystery over driver?

Three weeks after the Sydney Harbour tragedy, police have yet to establish who was driving the runabout that collided with a fishing trawler, killing six young people.

Officers attached to Strike Force Condor have spoken to the two people aboard the trawler Jordon's and the seven survivors from the runabout about the accident near Bradleys Head on May 1.

Detective Inspector David Laidlaw, who is heading the inquiry, said not all of them had been formally interviewed.

"We're still gathering evidence in relation to what people [were] doing," he said.

The lawyer for Matthew Reynolds, who [borrowed] the runabout without permission for the evening and survived the crash, confirmed his client had yet to be interviewed.

"I'm not aware that he has done a formal interview yet," solicitor Greg Walsh said.

"That's a police matter, I don't want to compromise their investigation," he said.

Police had initially said they were waiting for Mr Reynolds's condition to improve before interviewing him. At the time he was in a serious condition in hospital with several broken veterbrae but he left Royal North Shore Hospital two weeks ago.

The father of Jordon's skipper Peter Evans, Barry, said his son was "still a bit traumatised" by the crash, and had been unable to return to work because police still had possession of the boat.

He did not know when the boat would be returned.

"It will depend on the police and coroner when the boat is released," he said.


Boat driver in fatal crash revealed: cover-up
Cocktail barman Percy Small has been named as the man at the wheel of the runabout when it crashed into a larger fishing boat, killing six people. It is believed those on board have also claimed that a third person may have been at the wheel during some point in the journey, News Limited [Limited News] reports. [???] [An attempt now to place someone that was allegedly not drunk at the helm???] Quote: "Witnesses have told police that after Mr Reynolds, a qualified skipper, negotiated the boat from Balmain Wharf he handed the controls over to Mr Small. Mr Small, who holds a 'boating licence' and 'did not appear affected by alcohol', safely took the boat across the harbour to Watsons Bay." Unquote. [NSW Police and Limited News Lies? Seems like they got the all clear??? Now all they have to do is inform the boat owners that granting permission to the crew for the journey won't be a liability???]

Harbour death crash: [who stole the boat?]
The father of Matthew Reynolds, [the man originally thought to have stolen the runabout and] the man originally thought to have been at the helm of the runabout at the time of last Thursday's harbour tragedy, says his son knows who was steering the vessel but will not reveal their identity because of "legal implications".

Homicide squad called in over harbour crash
THE homicide squad stamped its authority on the investigation into the harbour tragedy yesterday, with an inspection of the boats that smashed into each other in the cold and dark on Thursday morning.

Police name 6th harbour crash victim
Thirty-two-year-old Ashlei Ayres, a single mother of two, has now been named as one of the five people who died at the scene of the crash.

Balmain hotels fill as young mourn pub mates
Many of those involved in the accident were from Balmain. Friends gathered, embraced and cried openly on Darling Street, and soon after were intoxicated with alcohol as well as grief. Balmain bar staff described the incident as a pub staff night gone wrong.

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