22 December 2022

Woman charged over Matthew McLuckie's death still unable to be interviewed by police

| Claire Fenwicke
Police office at a podium

ACT Road Policing Acting Detective Paul Hutcheson said the decision to proceed with charges was made following consultation with the DPP and defence representatives. Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

A woman to be charged with manslaughter over the fatal collision which killed Matthew McLuckie on Hindmarsh Avenue earlier this year is yet to be interviewed by police.

ACT Road Policing Acting Detective Paul Hutcheson said the decision to proceed with charges was made following discussions with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), health carers and the Bruce woman’s legal representatives.

“Our consultation’s been that at least this is the appropriate time to put those charges before the court and for them to make the decision based on her long-term health outcomes,” he said.

“We haven’t interviewed her at this point. We haven’t been able to do that based on her current condition … she still remains under fairly significant medical care.”

It is unclear whether the alleged driver, whom Region has chosen not to identify at this time, will be fit to answer the charges in court.

However, Det Act Hutcheson alleged a crime had still been committed, another reason why charges had been laid.

“This matter still needs to go before the court. Someone has died, and we allege a significant crime has occurred, significant offences have allegedly occurred leading up to it,” he said.

“It’s not up to police to decide whether this matter should be heard or not; that’s what we have the courts for.

“The DPP has assessed this matter as suitable to move to this point and some decisions are best relayed to the courts as independent assessors of fact to decide whether this matter should progress any further.”

Given it’s alleged the woman was driving at least 177 km/h in the 80 km/h zone on Hindmarsh Drive, Act Det Hutcheson said it was a “miracle” she even survived.

While he noted that laying charges was a “significant” milestone for any investigation, this still wasn’t a “win”.

“I can guarantee you none of the investigators feel like we’ve had a win … we’d much prefer not to have been involved in this at all,” Act Det Hutcheson said.

“This is still a tragic situation for everybody involved in this, including the defendant and her family. I’m sure her family members and friends didn’t want her involved in this incident.”

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Police are continuing their investigations into a third vehicle seen in the vicinity of the crash, allegedly speeding but on the correct side of the road.

Police seized a car believed to be the vehicle of interest after being found dumped some weeks later.

It has since been forensically examined.

The driver of the third vehicle could be either a witness who can provide more information, or another potential suspect in the crash.

“Until we have the opportunity to talk to them, they remain both and neither,” Act Det Hutcheson said.

“Giving them the opportunity to come and talk to us gives us the opportunity to clear up that part of the matter.”

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Det Act Hutcheson pointed out Matthew is one of 18 people killed on our roads this year and urged every motorist to be responsible for their own safety and the safety of others when on the road this festive season.

“Get there safe, take an extra 10 minutes – no family member is going to care if you are 10 minutes late to Christmas lunch,” he said.

“They will care if you don’t make it at all.”

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