Police driveway death first since 1994
Wed, 22 Aug 2012 6:20p.m.
By Tom McRae
The crash which fatally injured a woman when her vehicle and a police car collided has been described as an officer's "worst nightmare".
Mother of four Liku Onesi died after the car she was a passenger in was hit by a patrol car heading to an emergency in South Auckland.
Joseph Helu was left picking up the shattered pieces of a car which killed his friend.
"It's a broken-hearted thing, but everyone has to take it."
Ms Onesi was in the passenger seat of a Pajero when a police car with sirens on and lights flashing hit it on its way to an emergency.
"She is a very nice person, her brother is the pastor and they come from a good family," says Mr Helu.
Ms Onesi was on her way to the Otara Tongan Methodist Church where she'd worked for nine years with her husband. He was driving, but survived the crash and is in a serious but stable condition.
It's thought the car was turning into the church driveway when it was hit by the police car. It then smashed into a power pole and came to stop against a concrete wall.
Her body was thrown from the car. It's not known if she was wearing a seatbelt.
It's the first time since 1994 that an accident like this involving a police car has happened. It was described as every officer's "worst nightmare".
"As you can appreciate, the police officer is distressed and shocked," says Counties-Manukau district commander Supt John Tims. "He was taken to A&E but has been discharged."
The sergeant was on his way to a priority one call out.
"There was a number of offenders who had broken into a premise and they were still at the scene," says Mr Tims. "We have one offender in custody."
But that's little comfort to the four children now left without a mother.
"They didn't know their mum had passed away, the pastor told me they're going to go to the hospital and come back and go to school to let the kids know their mum passed away, but their dad is still in hospital," says Mr Helu.
The Serious Crash Unit and the Independent Police Conduct Authority is investigating.
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29/08/2012 7:29:06 p.m.
that is so sad
28/08/2012 4:41:38 p.m.
Cindy Onesi wrote:
Don't you dare say your thoughts are with MY family and then judge THEM for what had happened. I hope you realize how ignorant you sound when you say that the police, fire, ambulance have to deal with 'THESE IDIOTS' when in reality we have to deal with real idiots like YOU. This ACCIDENT had NOTHING to do with you, nor did this effect you in anyway, correct? So what I would suggest doing is look passed what mistakes that were made, and look at the bigger picture. A life was lost, and you still the nerve to come on here and comment about what they should have and shouldn't have done? PLEASE! Go find something better to do with your time. My aunt and uncle are intelligent people and you have no right to leave your opinion on a website and think your opinion is justified? What are you trying to prove? That you're right? And by you saying all of that would've saved my aunts life? Do my whole family a favor and go shit on your face... that's probably the best way of hiding your hideous heart that you just showed by writing what you did. I will not wish this upon you, or any one else for that matter. But just know this... my aunt does not deserve to be talked about or judged by people like you; or by strangers/random assholes who feel they can say whatever they want about things they see in the news. Just like you, Liku has family... people who care about her. And I hope one day, if anything terrible happens to you... no one will judge you the same way that you just did.
23/08/2012 6:45:26 p.m.
Well my thuoghts are with the family for there lost, there are still questions, was she wearing a seat belt??, and come on, don't you people know what to do when faced with flashing lights and sirens " Pull over and/or STOP" isnt that the rule??, Our police, fire, ambulance service's have to deal with these idiots that dont know this every day, but we want these services to get to us if we need them. What about all the good the police do, that isnt recognised and we take for granted, more should be done when taking a driving licence, there is nothing on the AA test suite about about what to do when faced with either oncoming or coming from behind emergency vehicles.
23/08/2012 10:31:00 a.m.
Shocking news :( rip
23/08/2012 9:28:24 a.m.
I think Mr Onesi will need a good lawyer? Already there are two conflicting stories. This one states it is thought that the car was turning into the church driveway whereas another states that the car was reversing out of the drive way?? Now I am no Columbo but if this is the church driveway and 9am Mrs Onesi was obviously going to church where she worked and since she was in the car they were obviously going IN not coming OUT. The other issue will be the slightest fault the Police find with the car weather genuine or not Mr Onesi may have to fight in court to prove wrong! Lets not forget the Police have the vehicle so who can say other wise? The Police will be very fast to question all witnesses and get statements so they can coax them into how it will write. People in shock can be very easily manipulated into what they thought they saw so getting to the truth by witnesses may also prove difficult for Mr Onesi? Anyone who thinks this does not go on dream on just hope you never find yourself in a similar situation!!!
23/08/2012 4:34:54 a.m.
On the 22/11/1978 my car was destroyed and I nearly died when a police car was driven through a red light colliding with my car in Christchurch. The Police then tried to frame me for the collision and refused to accept liability. My heart goes out to the family of the dead woman and her injured husband. I hope he can get the closure I never got.
22/08/2012 9:43:29 p.m.
MISS S wrote:
OFA LAHI ATU to the ONESI FAMILY - and to the TOKAIMA'ANANGA CHURCH - to the Pastor - Rev. Vaikoloa Kilikiti and the rest of the Family!! Thoughts and Prayers are with you ALL!!!
22/08/2012 6:30:27 p.m.
Hopefully the four children won't take it too hard. My thoughts are with their family.
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