Truck driver extradited from Queensland 18 years after fatal crash


A truck driver is to be extradited from Queensland, 18 years after a crash in the Southern Highlands, NSW, in which six-year-old Rian Strathdee was killed.

Officers attached to the Crash Investigation Unit (CIU) travelled to Bellbird Park south-west of Brisbane after the Queensland Police Service took a 59-year-old man into custody by virtue of a NSW Police arrest warrant yesterday, October 9.

The man was taken to Ipswich Watchhouse before appearing in Ipswich Magistrates Court today (Monday, October 10), where CIU officers applied for the man’s extradition to NSW.

This was granted and the man is due to arrive at Sydney Airport tomorrow night, October 11.

Rian Strathdee was a back-seat passenger in a station wagon which was allegedly struck by a heavy vehicle while being driven south along the Hume Highway near Sutton Forest about 9.40pm on Friday, November 26, 2004.

Rian died at the scene when the car travelled 40 metres down an embankment and rolled several times. The truck involved did not stop.

Rian’s father – then aged 45 – was airlifted to Prince of Wales Hospital with neck injuries, while Rian’s brother – then aged 11 – was taken to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead with facial injuries, cuts and bruising.

His mother – then aged 46 – who was driving at the time, also suffered extensive cuts and bruising.

Inquiries at the time were unable to identify the vehicle and driver and, following an inquest in 2006, the Coroner could not determine an at-fault vehicle or driver.

Investigations continued by CIU when, in 2016, the case was again reviewed. Since that time, further information has come to light and, in September 2022, a warrant for the man’s arrest was issued.

Police will allege the man – then aged 42 – was working as a truck driver at the time of the crash.

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