Young mum killed af­ter truck ‘veers across road’

The West Australian - - NEWS - Gabrielle Knowles Chief Crime Re­porter

Trudy Clarke and a friend were giv­ing her nephew’s two mates a lift home on Thurs­day af­ter­noon when their car was struck by a truck that po­lice say veered to the wrong side of the road in Wa­roona.

The south­bound Mack prime mover jack­knifed, and its two trail­ers and the group’s Holden Com­modore sedan col­lided as the sedan trav­elled north, trap­ping the four oc­cu­pants in the wreck, po­lice say.

Ms Clarke, a 32-year-old mother, was in the front pas­sen­ger seat and was killed by the im­pact.

The 43-year-old man driv­ing re­mains in Royal Perth Hos­pi­tal’s trauma ward, as does an 18-yearold. The worst in­jured is bud­ding rap artist Liam Pass­more, 17, who was last night in an in­duced coma in in­ten­sive care with in­ter­nal in­juries.

He has al­ready had one op­er­a­tion and is ex­pected to have an­other one to­day.

His wor­ried sis­ter Court­ney yes­ter­day urged peo­ple to trea­sure their loved ones. “You never know when some­thing like this will hap­pen,” she said.

She de­scribed Liam as “the best lit­tle brother any­one could ask for” and urged him to stay strong. Her fam­ily asked peo­ple to pray for ev­ery­one in­volved in the crash.

Ms Clarke’s dev­as­tated fa­ther Colin said he and his wife had been cel­e­brat­ing their wed­ding an­niver­sary when they re­ceived the hor­rific news of their youngest child’s death.

“She’s a beau­ti­ful kid, she has a nine-year-old daugh­ter who is now left with­out her mother,” Mr Clarke said. He said his grand­daugh­ter was not in the car be­cause she was be­ing col­lected from school by his grand­son — Trudy’s nephew — while she drove his friends home.

It is un­der­stood the 45-year-old driver of the prime mover, who was not hurt, has told po­lice he was try­ing to avoid run­ning into the back of a turn­ing truck just be­fore the col­li­sion.

Traf­fic Act­ing Com­man­der Dom Wood said po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing why the prime mover had crossed to the op­po­site side of South West­ern High­way and urged any­one who saw what hap­pened to con­tact them.

“We are par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in talk­ing to the driver of a small truck — we un­der­stand there was a small truck that was turn­ing left onto Hall Road (from South West­ern High­way) just to the north of Wa­roona around 4pm,” he said. “It’s very im­por­tant the driver of the truck comes for­ward and as­sists us with our in­ves­ti­ga­tion.” Con­tact Crime Stop­pers on

1800 333 000 or re­port on­line at crimestop­per­swa.com.au

Liam Pass­more, who was badly hurt, with sis­ters Bree, left, and Court­ney.

Trudy Clarke died in the crash.

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