Death of teenager 'preventable', police 'utterly failed' during chase, inquest hears
The death of teenager, killed in a high-speed police chase on the Gold Coast, could have been prevented had police complied with their own pursuit policies, an inquest has found.
Logan Dreier, 18, died after crashing a stolen ute at Southport in August 2019.
Deputy State Coroner Jane Bentley told the Queensland Coroner's Court the death of Mr Dreier "would in all likelihood not have occurred" had police "complied" with Queensland Police Service (QPS) pursuit policies.
Ms Bentley handed down recommendations, including changes to pursuit training for all QPS officers.
Police 'utterly failed'
Mr Dreier died from "multiple injuries" he sustained when he was ejected from the vehicle that was being pursued by police, the court heard.
The week-long inquest held in Southport earlier this year examined the police response to the incident.
Ms Bentley handed down a 99-page report to the Queensland Coroners Court sitting at Southport on Thursday, which included police lawyers and Mr Dreier's family.
In her findings, Ms Bentley said two police officers, Senior Sergeant Braydn Murphy and Sergeant David Martin, "utterly failed to comply" with their duties and obligations during the chase.
Police communications, including who was in charge of calling the pursuit, came under fire during the inquest.
The court heard Snr Sgt Murphy failed to provide "crucial information" during the chase which meant other officers could not accurately understand the situation.
Ms Bentley said Sgt Martin failed to "take control of the pursuit", which led to a "reluctance" of other senior officers taking control and abandoning the pursuit themselves.
Pursuit 'risk to public'
The inquest had heard the chase, which reached speeds of up to 140 kilometres an hour, should have been called off.
Ms Bentley said Sgt Martin "should have ordered the pursuit to be abandoned when Logan drove dangerously."
Ms Bentley said Mr Dreier would have "ceased to drive dangerously and his death could have been averted."
She said "at that point the risk to the public, the police officers involved and Logan could not be justified."
Ms Bentley recommended QPS "continue and expedite the review currently in progress to consider the Safe Driving and Pursuit Policy," and consider what is a "pursuable matter."
She also recommended the introduction of regular "practical scenario-based pursuit refresher training" for all officers, and the branding of the bonnets of police vehicles.