Young dad-to-be killed in tragedy
DAN Stiller won’t get the chance to see his wife give birth to their first child.
The 33-year-old Oxley police sergeant was killed by a jack-knifing truck south of Rockhampton yesterday as he escorted a wide load.
The empty trailer collided with Sergeant Stiller’s motorcycle about 15km south of Mt Larcom at 7am.
It was a tragedy that struck at the heart of the Brisbane police force with his wife, a Brisbane officer, learning about the news at work.
The couple had only recently announced they were due to become parents.
The fatality happened the morning after a meeting at nearby Bajool where residents expressed their concerns over the state of the Bruce Highway, including the dangerously narrow width (see story page 6).
A Facebook page dedicated to Sergeant Stiller flowed with loving tributes yesterday.
Clare Neal said: “Very sad ... so young. RIP.”
Russell Garrard said: “Well that’s put a dampener on my day. (It’s) always sad to hear of another officer passing away. I feel for his family at this time, especially so close to Christmas.”
Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson said Sergeant Stiller was a valued member of the Queensland Police Service and his sudden death was a tragic loss.
“Sergeant Stiller was a dedicated traffic officer committed to the safety and security of all Queenslanders,” he said.
Sergeant Stiller had served at Oxley District Traffic Branch in Brisbane since December 2007.
Deputy Commissioner (Specialist Operations) Ross Barnett said the other police officer involved was receiving counselling.
“The other officer was in a motor vehicle, Sergeant Stiller was the only one on a motorcycle,” he said.
“Counselling has been provided to that officer, others who were at the scene, Sergeant Stiller’s colleagues and his family.”
The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating the incident and the Ethical Standards Command is overviewing it.
The fatality brings the Central Queensland road toll to 33.
With the school holidays now here, motorists are urged to take care on the roads.