Police attend memorial for Sergeant killed by car

Mourners at the funeral of Derek Wootton in 2008. Photo / NZ Herald
Mourners at the funeral of Derek Wootton in 2008. Photo / NZ Herald

Police today remembered Sergeant Derek Wootton, who was killed by a fleeing vehicle on this day in 2008.

Mr Wootton, 52, was laying road spikes in Titahi Bay, north of Wellington, to stop the car when he was hit and killed.

Police Commissioner Peter Marshall today spoke at a service in Porirua to mark the fifth anniversary of Mr Wootton's death. He made note of two other dangerous incidents for police this week - the pursuit and shooting death of Caleb Henry, and the ramming of a police vehicle by the occupants of a stolen car.

"This week a series of events culminated in the tragic death of a young man on the northern motorway in Auckland and a fleeing driver incident in central Auckland resulted in attempts to ram a police car and an officer," he said.

"Today's memorial is particularly poignant as recent events reinforce the dangers police may face in the course of their daily work to prevent crime in our communities and to hold the line against criminals."

Mr Wootton's family were among those who attended the service.

Sergeant Wootton was the 27th officer to die as a result of criminal action since the New Zealand Police was established in 1886.

In May 2009, Mongrel Mob member Andrew Popo was sentenced to eight years and nine months' imprisonment, with a five-year minimum, for his manslaughter.

- APNZ

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