22 July 2020

UPDATED: Disability advocate Sue Salthouse dies in Commonwealth Avenue accident

| Michael Weaver
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Sue Salthouse. Photo: Women with Disabilities ACT

UPDATED 9: am: The woman who died following a collision on Commonwealth Avenue Bridge between a wheelchair-accessible motorcycle and a car has been identified as the ACT Senior Citizen of the Year, Sue Salthouse.

“Women with Disabilities ACT was deeply saddened yesterday to hear of the passing of our board chair, Sue Salthouse. We will miss her very much. Vale Sue.

“We send our sincerest condolences to her family and friends and ask that their privacy is respected during this time,” Women with Disabilities ACT said this morning (21 July).”

Ms Salthouse was also named Canberra Citizen of the Year in 2015.

At 71, Ms Salthouse continued to work in the disability sector where she ran a consultancy company specialising in disability rights advocacy.

READ MORE: Sue Salthouse remembered as a tireless warrior for our community

ACT Australian of the year Katrina Fanning and senior Australian of the year, Sue Salthouse. Photo: Genevieve Jacobs

Her death is the third on ACT roads this year.

Police said that the collision occurred at about 2:45 pm at the northern end of the bridge in the south-bound lanes.

Ms Salthouse, riding the wheelchair-accessible motorcycle, was treated at the scene by ACT Ambulance Service Paramedics but died in hospital. Police officers in high-visibility uniforms were on scene redirecting traffic and people on the Commonwealth Ave bridge.

ACT Policing’s Superintendent Corey Heldon said a male driver in a utility hit the wheelchair-accessible motorcycle from behind when the accident occurred.

“It would appear as though the person in the vehicle has hit the rear of the wheelchair-accessible motorbike, and that’s caused the collision that resulted in the death,” Supt Heldon said.

The male driver of the utility is assisting police with their investigations.

“We’re looking at a range of factors at the moment. We’ve had conversations with other people who witnessed the aftermath, but we are still seeking witnesses, and if anyone saw the collision, we’d like them to come forward and assist us with our enquiries,” Supt Heldon said.

The driver of the utility was the only person inside the car at the time of the accident.

Superintendent Heldon also said it was too early to determine if any charges would be laid.

The road was closed for a number of hours while investigations were carried out, causing significant delays. ACT Policing’s Major Collision Team are investigating the circumstances of the incident, and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

The families have asked for their privacy to be respected at this time and no further details will be provided.

Anyone with information or dash-cam footage from around the time of the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website. Please quote reference 6579817. Information can be provided anonymously.

Police at the scene of the accident on Commonwealth Ave. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

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Pirenne Laffin12:33 pm 08 Aug 20

Sue was a wonderfully caring and positive personality. A true force of nature is lost to the disability community. I am so pleased she is to be remembered and honored.

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