An inquest has heard debate about speed ticketing and emergency hand gestures police use. (File)
An inquest has heard debate about speed ticketing and emergency hand gestures police use. (File) TAHLIA STEHBENS

'I saw an orange flash, everything happened so fast'

CONFUSION about police hand signals used in life-or-death situations has emerged at the inquest for a father killed on the Sunshine Coast.

Motorcyclist Michaelangelo Parkes, 66, died in a crash after a police officer pulled over a driver for speeding.

After the driver was ticketed, she resumed her journey on Old Gympie Road, Mount Mellum.

But a Hyundai Santa Fe approached - and behind that, Mr Parkes.

The Hyundai driver Christopher Williams described the impact to Brisbane Coroners Court on Thursday.

"I saw an orange flash, everything happened so fast."

Mr Williams said seconds before, a police officer had gestured to him, his right hand at shoulder height with palm straight, using a vertical motion.

"I wasn't 100 per cent sure whether he meant slow down and pull in, or slow down, there's a car accident."

Mr Williams slowed down.

He then felt the motorbike hit his car, but it didn't seem severe.

"I actually expected the gentleman to get back up," Mr Williams said.

The bike then hit the parked police car.

There was no suggestion Mr Williams was at fault, or that Mr Parkes was speeding or riding unsafely.

Detective Sergeant Jeffrey Gillam investigated the July 2016 crash.

He said the officer who pulled over the driver was not at fault.

The road was narrow, in the shadow of trees, and the accident scene just beyond a crest.

"We can't communicate with a person where we want them to stop," Mr Gillam said.

"He could have delayed the intercept to a further point down the road though," Coroner Terry Ryan said.

Mr Gillam said tests on the motorbike found its front brakes were possibly "not adequate".

He was asked about benefits of issuing speed tickets by post or email, instead of pulling people over.

Mr Gillam said detection vans could do that but the Mount Mellum officer didn't have "camera detection equipment" to do so.

Both Mr Williams and Mr Gillam said more publicity or advertising about police hand signals would be useful.

Mr Gillam also said police could take "refresher courses".

The inquest continues. -NewsRegional



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