Man to face charges for Geelong taxi death
POLICE expect to charge a man who crashed into a taxi in Geelong on Christmas Day, killing its driver and injuring a family in another vehicle.
This collision, and five fatalities from Boxing Day road smashes in New South Wales, have lifted the national holiday road toll to 16, which includes five in Victoria.
Inspector Bernie Rankin said there would be a criminal investigation into the Geelong crash, and speed and alcohol were being investigated as possible causes.
The driver of the car that crashed into the taxi was interviewed for several hours after the incident and released.
The taxi driver, a member of the local Pakistani community and a father of five, died at the scene. Inspector Rankin said the family, which was in a vehicle waiting at traffic lights adjacent to the taxi, were lucky to have escaped serious injury.
A woman who may not have witnessed the crash but police believe spoke to the family at the scene is being urged to come forward to help with the investigation.
''We really need to speak to her, hoping she can clarify some things for us,'' he said.
Police are appealing for motorists to drive sensibly as they struggle to make sense of what they called a ''horrific'' start to the holiday road toll period.
Three people died on December 23 alone - the first day of the holiday road toll period - in separate incidents, including a man in Dandenong on Christmas Eve. Inspector Rankin said all were avoidable collisions.
''Unfortunately in our community there's a group of people that just don't listen,'' he said. ''If you drink don't even think about getting behind the wheel of the car. If you're going somewhere, it doesn't matter if you're a few minutes late; rest, have a break.''
Police have been left shaking their heads in recent days over what they describe as reckless behaviour.
A New South Wales teen had his car impounded on Wednesday after he was caught travelling more than 70km/h over the speed limit in Seymour.
The 17-year-old was clocked driving south on the Hume Highway at 181km/h in a 110km/h zone. The P-plater had his car impounded for 30 days and is expected to be charged with several offences including conduct endangering life.
Meanwhile, a 31-year-old Malvern East man will face court after he was caught speeding and drink-driving in Frankston South on Wednesday morning.
The man was driving on the Moorooduc Highway when Frankston Highway Patrol members caught him allegedly travelling at 124km/h in an 80km/h zone. A breath-test returned a result of 0.06.
Police are also urging a man photographed by a member of the public driving on the Eastern Freeway with both of his feet hanging out of the window on Christmas Eve to come forward and hand himself in. Police said the man faces charges of conduct endangering life.
Inspector Rankin said the stupidity of the driver ''astounds us''. ''The local police will be following this matter up and what I'd encourage the driver of this vehicle to do is he walk into his local police station and speak to us,'' he said.
The national road toll soared to 16 following a horror Boxing Day on NSW roads.
Five people died in four separate crashes, including an elderly couple who lost their lives when their four-wheel-drive rolled on the Hume Highway, injuring five other family members on board.
One passenger, a 67-year-old woman, was flown to Royal Melbourne hospital with possible spinal injuries.
Three men died in separate accidents, including one who was involved in a two-vehicle collision in Marsden Park, in Sydney's north-west.