31 August 2021

Hand yourself in; appeal to offenders after hit and run leaves police officer with serious head injuries

| Kim Treasure
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Stolen ute

The stolen ute that sparked the police chase. Photo: NSW Police.

Police have appealed to those responsible for a hit and run that has left a young Cooma police constable in hospital with serious head injuries to hand themselves in.

“The clear message is, this is a low act that you were involved in,” Assistant Commissioner Joe Cassar said. “It’s not going to get any better.

“Man up and come and present yourself to police.”

The incident happened at about 8:20 pm on Monday, 30 August 2021, when officers from the Monaro Police District were in pursuit of a stolen utility on the Monaro Highway, Nimmitabel, near Cooma.

The utility stopped just outside of Cooma, and the driver got out of the car and fled on foot.

The police vehicle also stopped, and a male officer got out of the car and gave chase on foot.

The fleeing man was then seen getting into a small white sports car type sedan, before that car allegedly struck the officer and left him lying on the ground.

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The Senior Constable suffered serious head injuries, including a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain, and was airlifted to Canberra Hospital, where he remains in a stable condition.

“It’s a very serious situation,” Assistant Commissioner Cassar said. “This is a young senior constable. He’s a married man, he’s father of two young people who still live in the Cooma area. This has a significant impact on his peers, his family and the community … it’s a chain reaction.

“We are very grateful he is still with us … he has our prayers and our full support.”

Assistant Commissioner Cassar said NSW and ACT Police would be using the full weight of both jurisdictions to find the people responsible for “this horrific event”, and appealed for anyone with dash cam footage or any knowledge to come forward.

With a mountain of forensic evidence in the stolen utility, police are confident of tracking down the offenders.

“We have at least two people at large,” he said, “the offender in the stolen vehicle and the second offender who was responsible for hitting the officer. We are lucky it’s not a fatality.”

A crime scene has been established as investigations into the incident continue by officers from Monaro Police District.

The police are also providing support for the young female officer who was left alone supporting her colleague while waiting for medical assistance.

“It was a traumatic experience, not only to witness the incident but to be the only one left standing there to render first aid,” the assistant commissioner said.

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