Injured woman's children say they are frustrated at lack of information from police into crash investigation

The family of a woman who was seriously injured after her car was hit by a police vehicle at reportedly high speeds are demanding answers into what happened.

Cronulla’s Gai Vieira, the wife of racing identity Bert Vieira, was on her way to lunch from Cronulla with her three-year-old grandson in the car. He was not hurt in the crash.

She remains in a coma in St George Hospital after recovering from surgery to broken bones and internal injuries.

Her children have again pleaded with more information on social media, and said they have had “no information” from police.

Her son Trent told the Leader they have had no choice but to try to get answers on social media.

“The frustrating thing for us is that they have told us nothing,” he said. “They just tell us it’s an ongoing investigation. But we are family and should have more information shared with us. 

“My mum was just babysitting for the day and it seems police were playing a cat and mouse game through a residential street.

“Several people have messaged us saying they often see police sit in their cars at Rydges Hotel just waiting with binoculars and clipboards to catch people on their phones, and then speed up the Kingsway chasing them.”

Mrs Vieira’s daughter Cassie posted on Facebook that the support her family has received from the public however, has been overwhelming.

“As my beautiful mum is still fighting for her life, I want to thank you all for the support. The love and well wishes from family, friends and the public has been simply overwhelming,” she said.

“We cannot sing higher praises for the amazing doctors and nurses at St George Hospital, we have no doubt she is in the best hands possible.

“As we all sit by her side, praying for mum we are still at a loss as to how this occurred. This has not been made any clearer by the police as we still have not received any information from the police.

“All witnesses have the same story, stating no sirens/no lights. Police have dashboard camera, blackbox, multiple witnesses to confirm this. 

“The policeman involved walked away with minor facial cuts, discharged the same day, home to his family. Our family will never be the same.

“We need answers. Please help us to get the answers and ensure this horrific event never happens to another family and put a stop to erratic high speed pursuit for a possible mobile phone use. We all just want the truth.”

EARLIER:

The family of a Sutherland Shire woman recovering in intensive care say that her car was hit by a police officer travelling at 140km/h with no sirens.

Gai Vieira, 68, was driving her Mercedes-Benz in Cronulla on Wednesday when it collided with a police car at the intersection of The Kingsway and Connels Road.

The crash has left Mrs Vieira in St George Hospital’s intensive care unit, where she is now recovering.

Her grandson was also in the car, but was unhurt.

Mrs Vieira’s son on Friday appealed for witnesses to the crash in a Facebook post.

"We have been told allegedly the police officer that hit her was travelling approx 140km/h without his sirens on and didn’t have a chance to use his brakes at all," her son Trent Vieira wrote.

"We are appealing for any witnesses ... to please make contact."

Mrs Vieira is the wife of Sydney racing identity Bert Vieira.

The owner-breeder’s horse Trapeze Artist is set to run at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday in the lead-up to The Everest next month.

Police on Thursday said that the officer involved in the crash was pursuing a motorist he had seen using his mobile phone behind the wheel.

In a press conference on Thursday, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy would not comment on whether the patrol car was using its lights and sirens.

Police yesterday  appealed for any dashcam footage which may have recorded the crash involving a highway patrol car on the Kingsway at Cronulla yesterday. 

Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said a critical incident investigation has been launched into the crash and the police driver involved in the crash was to be interviewed some time on Thursday.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy.  Picture: 7News

Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy. Picture: 7News

‘‘This is a tragic incident, a person is in hospital and that’s the last thing we want,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

‘‘Our thoughts go out to the family of the injured women.

‘‘We will be getting this investigation done as soon as we can so we can get information to the family as soon as we can.”

Assistant Commissioner Corboy said investigating officers were examining police in-car video and some dash cam footage but were urging anyone with footage to come forward.

“We are asking for anyone who has dashcam footage that has recorded the crash or the lead-up to the crash on dashcam to please contact Crime Stoppers or NSW police.”

One witness posted on the Leader’s Facebook page that speed had been a factor.

“I witnessed this earlier. It was a horrendous crash. It happened just a few meters from the bosses house. Cop car was flying at the time. Going way too fast,” Dave Moller said.

Witnesses speaking with Seven News said they believe the police car was travelling at high speed along the Kingsway when the Mercedes attempted a right turn. The police car then slammed into the driver's side of the Mercedes, critically injuring the woman.

Another witness said: "I didn't hear any screeching tyres or sirens."

Mr Corboy said police had received a number of different versions of this crash and investigations were still in the very early stages and would not confirm whether the police car was “under lights and sirens” at the time of the crash.

“We’re looking at everything in relation to this investigation. We’re looking at where the Mercedes was in the crash, we’re looking at the speed of the police vehicle, we’re looking at the lights and sirens,” Mr Corboy said.

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