Tuesday, December 25, 2012


From: AAP December 26, 2012

A HIGH-SPEED smash on Christmas Day that killed a working taxi driver in Victoria's southwest has the state on track for a "horrendous" holiday road toll, police say.           
The cabbie, a father-of-five, had stopped at traffic lights in the Geelong suburb of Hamlyn Heights, not far from his home, when an out-of-control Holden Commodore slammed into his taxi at around 6.15pm on Tuesday (AEDT), police said.
He died at the scene on Anakie Road, while the young male Commodore driver, who escaped injury, was quizzed by police for several hours before being released pending further inquiries.
"(The cabbie) was a family man, supporting his family, out working on Christmas Day... for his family; it's just dreadful," Inspector Bernie Rankin told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.
The collision is being treated as a criminal investigation and there's "no doubt" charges will be laid, with detectives examining whether speed and alcohol were factors in the Commodore driver's actions, Insp Rankin said.
"We're all held to account for what we do on the roads and at some stage in the future, in all likelihood, this young man will be held to account," he said.
Five people have died on Victoria's roads so far these holidays, which Insp Rankin said had left police "horrified".
"If we don't slow down and start doing the right thing, this is going to be a horrendous Christmas-New Year period for us," he said.
Meanwhile, Queensland has recorded its first holiday road death, after a sedan veered off the Bruce Highway on the state's east coast and rolled at about 3.15am (AEST) on Wednesday, killing its male driver, the car's sole occupant.
The death takes the national Christmas holiday road toll to 14.
* The national road toll period runs from 0001 December 23, 2012 until 2359 January 3, 2013, local times, in line with the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Board

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