Truck fire leads to crash

A TRUCK fire on Toodyay Road near the Noble Falls Tavern last month led to a near-new Toodyay police vehicle being written off and a Morangup mother of two young children charged with dangerous driving.
 
 
 
 
 
(above) A firefighter douses a truck which caught fire opposite the Noble Falls Tavern.
 
The drama unfolded about 1pm on Monday August 7 when Toodyay police chief Sgt Warren Conder was driving from Perth to Toodyay on duty when he was first to arrive at the scene where a truck had caught fire.
 
“The driver was trying to put it out with a tiny fire extinguisher so I parked my unmarked car on the road and waved him away for his own safety while I called for reinforcements,” Sgt Conder said.
 
Sgt Conder stopped traffic a safe distance away on the Toodyay side of the blazing truck, and a line of vehicles was stopped on the opposite side while firefighters and more police arrived.
 
“Suddenly a woman in a white Camry with a baby and small child on board pulled out of the queue, overtook three other cars, sped past the blazing truck and collided head-on with a near-new police Ford Ranger from Toodyay which had just arrived at the scene, causing extensive damage,” Sgt Conder said.
 
“The front of her own car was also damaged but she pulled clear, sped past me and turned right into Mayo Road to get away.
 
“But her car was so badly damaged that it could steer only to the right and, after going a short way down Mayo Road, she lost control of her car which left the road, became airborne and slammed into the base of a tree.”
 
Sgt Conder said the woman got her two children out of her wrecked vehicle, flagged down a passing vehicle and got a lift back along Toodyay Road to get home.
 
Police found the woman’s crashed vehicle in Mayo Road and traced it to a Morangup address, where she was arrested and charged with dangerous driving.
 
Other charges are pending.
 
Servo door smashed
 
THE FRONT door of Toodyay’s Shell service station in Telegraph Road near Newcastle Bridge was kicked in last month during an attempted overnight burglary.
 
Nothing appears to have been stolen but the door was damaged and business disrupted while repairs were carried out.
 
Unlike at the service station owned by the same company at the other end of town, there was no video recording system operating at the break-in site to capture footage of the offenders.
 
However, Toodyay police have identified a suspect and are making further inquiries.
 
“I encourage local traders to protect their premises with video recording cameras,” Sgt Conder said.
 
“This will help us to track offenders faster and more effectively, and also help deter criminal activity.”
 
Two homes raided for drugs
 
THREE local people have been charged with drug offences after Toodyay police raided two homes last month.
The raids provided information that could lead to more arrests.
 
Last month’s charges were for possession of cannabis and drug smoking equipment.
 
One of the raids was in town and the other in a nearby rural residential area.
 
Police Rangers for kids
 
TOODYAY is to get its first Police Rangers unit for boys and girls aged 12-17.
 
Sgt Conder said he had secured funding from WA’s Police and Community Youth Centres (PCYC) program to launch a new Police Ranger unit in Toodyay.
 
“The program is similar to school cadets and encourages young people to learn life skills and get involved in community activities that can help their future careers,” Sgt Conder said.
 
Police Rangers enables young people to gain points for their secondary school WA Certificate of Education, which is recognised by universities, employers and other training bodies.
 
Sgt Conder said young Toodyay Police Rangers would gain an opportunity to learn basic contemporary policing skills, including instruction and practice in using communications and navigational equipment, bushcraft and survival skills.
 
They would wear special Police Rangers uniforms, learn parade drills and attend an annual camp.
 
The program paves the way for young boys and girls who may wish to enter the police force as a future career.
 
Sgt Conder said he hoped to pass on skills he had learnt from policing in WA and 13 years in the Australian military where he served as a quartermaster gunner on HMAS Brisbane and HMAS Swan, and later later  as an army signalman.
 
“I’m looking for local parents with children who may want to take advantage of joining Toodyay’s first Police Rangers unit,” Sgt Conder said.
 
“We’ve got the funding and now we’re getting ready to go.”
 
More information about joining Toodyay’s new Police Rangers unit can be obtained by emailing warren.conder@police.wa.gov.au.


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