Thursday, 19 June 2008 - 10:18pm |
National News

Senior police commander killed in road crash

2 min read

Superintendent Steve Fitzgerald, the National Commander of the Police Communications Centres, was tragically killed in Petone road crash tonight while cycling home from work.

Inspector Richard Chambers, Lower Hutt Police Area Commander, said police and ambulance staff were quickly at the scene but attempts to resuscitate Superintendent Fitzgerald, 57, were unsuccessful.

He said Lower Hutt police and specialist crash and commercial vehicle investigation officers are endeavouring to establish how the crash involving Superintendent Fitzgerald and an articulated truck and trailer unit happened.

The crash was at 5.25pm on the roundabout at the Hutt Road and The Esplanade on the Petone foreshore.

Acting Police Commissioner Lyn Provost said Superintendent Fitzgerald's death has shocked and saddened his family, friends and police colleagues.

"Steve has made an enormous contribution to policing in New Zealand," Acting Commissioner Provost said. "He has played a significant role to community safety, particularly through his work as the national head of the Communications Centres and to his former role as our national road policing manager," she said.

Superintendent Fitzgerald has been the National Manager of the Police Communications Centres since 2005. His appointment followed the independent review of the NZ Police Comms. The last three years have seen significant improvements in the performance and capability of the Communications Centres.

Before joining Comms, Superintendent Fitzgerald spent five years as National Road Policing Manager.

"In the eyes of many New Zealanders and our police colleagues internationally, Steve was the face of road policing," Acting Commissioner Provost said.

"He oversaw all road policing operations and achieved significant and sustained reductions in road deaths and injury crashes."

Superintendent Fitzgerald began his policing career with the Leicester and Rutland Police Authority in the United Kingdom. His practical skills were also supported with a BA in Social Science and an MBA with distinction.

"I know that all police staff, particularly those who have worked closely with Steve over the years, as well as the wider community will mourn his loss," Acting Commissioner Provost said.

"Our sympathies and support are with Steve's wife, two sons and wider family as they try to deal with the loss of their loved one."