Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Crash skipper named in police cover-up

Who stole the boat that was subsequently overloaded, unregistered, uninsured, and unlicensed? Now you don't have to be a policeman to work that out do you?

POLICE investigating the collision on Sydney Harbour that killed six young people in May have asked for charges to be considered against a bartender, Percy Small, in a brief of evidence handed to the Director of Public Prosecutions on Friday.

After an investigation of 2½ months, police yesterday said that Mr Small was allegedly driving the runabout when it collided with a fishing trawler.

Mr Small, 24, had worked at the Commercial Hotel, Balmain, with other crash survivors.

It is understood a charge of dangerous driving occasioning death is possible.

[If you read the links though, police switched skippers replacing Mr Small with Matthew Reynolds who stole the boat and skippered it from the wharf, overloaded, unregistered, uninsured, and obviously unlicensed. The question is was he drunk or affected by drugs?]

However, now Mr Small who it is alleged has refused to do a formal interview with police over the crash, which occurred early on May 1.

Contacted through his family yesterday, he refused to comment on the investigation or who was driving the boat when the crash occurred.

It is understood he has told police he was not driving the boat.

Mr Small was part of a group that climbed aboard the runabout at Darling Street wharf, Balmain. They had planned to take the boat to Watsons Bay and back but collided with the trawler Jordon's just off Bradleys Head about 2.30am.

At first attention focused on Matthew Reynolds, 31, who had taken [stolen] the runabout out for the night. While he has also refused to be interviewed by police, he recently agreed to nominate who he says was driving the boat when it crashed.

It is believed he nominated Mr Small.

The Homicide Squad's coronial investigation team is allegedly awaiting several biomechanical reports on the injuries sustained by those on the runabout.

The types of injuries and their locations will [allegedly] help police establish where each person was on the boat when the accident occurred, and if that matches their statement.

The DPP's office confirmed that it had received a "partial" brief but was still waiting for more evidence, believed to be the biomechanical tests.

The DPP will [allegedly] assess the evidence [given to them by police] before giving police advice on whether a prosecution is likely to succeed.


Harbour crash 'driver' goes to police
Police "too busy" to question possible driver of boat in fatal harbour crash. Matthew Reynolds, the 31-year-old originally thought to be at the helm of the runabout which collided with a fishing boat on Sydney Harbour in May, killing six people, attended Tweed Heads Police Station today.

Boat safety laws overhauled
The New South Wales Government has announced maritime safety laws will be overhauled, a month after six people died in a boat crash on Sydney Harbour.

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.

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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