Date: May 07 2012
There is no evidence of police involvement in a hit-and-run crash that killed a war veteran in Victoria's southwest 35 years ago, a coroner has found.
The body of Hugh Wilson, 57, was found on the Colac-Gellibrand Road at Colac in September 1976.
Suggestions of police involvement in his death were examined at a Victorian coronial inquest last year.
In delivering her findings today, Coroner Kim Parkinson said there was no evidence to support the theory that Mr Wilson was hit by a police car.
The court was told that a police car was taken to a local panel shop for repairs on the night Mr Wilson was killed.
That panel shop, Laneway Panels, was known for having a close relationship with police.
The court heard several police officers worked part-time at the panel shop and police cars were often fixed there "on the quiet".
The coroner said the damage to the police car that was said to be repaired on the night of Mr Wilson's death was inconsistent with his injuries.
She also found no evidence to support a statement by a woman shortly after the death that Mr Wilson had been run over by a group of youths, who beat him to death with a piece of timber.
Ms Parkinson concluded Mr Wilson had died after being struck by a car driven by an unknown person.
Outside court, Mr Wilson's sister-in-law, Molly Wilson, said the finding meant the family still had no idea what happened.
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