Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Jordan Alexander THORSAGER

Inquest into the Death of Jordan Alexander THORSAGER

Delivered on : 27 June 2021

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Deputy State Coroner Linton

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : Yes

On the basis that it would be contrary to the public interest, an order was made that there be no reporting or publication of the details of any of the versions of the WA Police Emergency Driving Policy and Guidelines including, but not limited to, any cap on the speed at which police officers are authorised to drive.

Summary : Jordan Alexander Thorsager died on 14 February 2019 at Royal Perth Hospital of multiple injuries he received when the motorcycle he was riding earlier that evening was struck head-on by a car being driven in the opposite direction by Kyalee King. At the time of the collision Ms King was driving in an extremely dangerous manner in order to evade police, including driving on the wrong side of the road.

Ms King was charged with murder in relation to the death of Jordan.  She pleaded guilty and on 13 May 2020 she was sentenced in the Supreme Court in Perth to life imprisonment with a minimum non parole period of 13 years.

The Coroner was precluded from making a finding inconsistent with those proceedings and that conduct was not the specific focus of the inquest.  Rather the purpose of the Inquest was to consider whether Jordan death was caused, or contributed to by any action of a member of the Western Australian Police Force, given the police were attempting to intercept Ms King immediately prior to the collision.

In that regard, it was relevant that the driver of the police car that was following Ms King was charged with reckless driving (exceeding the speed limit by 45 km/h or more).  The charge was preferred on the basis that the Senior Constable’s driving grossly breached WA Police Driving Policy and Guidelines during the evade police incident.  The Senior Constable was also dealt with internally by way of a disciplinary charge under the Police Force Regulations 1979.  The Police Constable on shift in the car was also dealt with internally by way of a disciplinary charge under the regulations.  Both officers were represented by counsel at the inquest and had an opportunity to make submissions in that regard.  Those submissions were considered in making the finding.

While the most tragic consequences of the events of the night was the death of Jordan Thorsager, it is notable that there have been significant effects on the lives of many other people involved in the incident.  Ms King is serving life imprisonment for her crime, two police officers have suffered penalties and they and other police officers involved were left sleepless and distressed by their involvement.

The Coroner was satisfied that the WA Police Force is very conscious of the need to weigh up the risks of harm to others when considering the benefits of pursuing offenders, and that the Emergency Driving Policy does that appropriately.  If it had been followed in this case, it is likely that Jordan would not have died.

The most important message that all police officers should take from this very sad incident is that there are very good reason why the Emergency Driving Policy exists and it there as much for their own safety as for the safety of others.

Catch Words : Methylamphetamine and Impaired Driving : Police Pursuit : Breach of Police Driving Policy and Guidelines : Unlawful Homicide

Last updated: 29-Sep-2021

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