Shoalhaven News

Ex Police officer: Falkholt crash driver a menace


The NSW driver at the centre of the Falkholt tragedy was a "menace to society" who should have been in jail, according to a former policeman who dealt with the convicted criminal for nearly a decade.

The ex-NSW Police officer served in the Nowra region between 1996 and 2004 and says he wasn't surprised when he learned Craig Whitall was driving the four- wheel drive that slammed into the Falkhots' car on Boxing Day.

"I was shocked he was out on the streets, but not shocked he was involved (in the crash)," the former officer who wanted to be known only as Andrew told 2GB radio on Friday.

"He was a repeat offender. He didn't care about law. How he got his licence back I will never know. It astounded me that he was out on the road."

Whitall, 50, was reportedly travelling home from a Nowra methadone clinic when he crashed into the Falkholt family's car on December 26 near Ulladulla.

Parents Lars and Vivian were killed instantly, while their two daughters, Annabelle, 21, and Home and Away actor Jessica, 29, were pulled from the burning vehicle. Whitall also died.

Annabelle died days later while Jessica's life support system has been turned off.

The former officer says Whitall was involved in a lot of break and enters and was a "well-known drug offender" in the region.

News Corp Australia reports Whitall was a habitual traffic offender with more than 60 convictions to his name.

He'd previously had his licence suspended for nine years, but it had been given back at the time of the crash, according to News Corp.

"He was extremely well known to us," Andrew said.

"He was a menace to society ... and should have been in jail."

The former officer believes methadone should be a prescribed drug and it should be illegal to drive under its influence.

NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey says the government will investigate the "terrible set of circumstances" that led to the deadly crash.

"We have been spending hours within government trying to get a sense of the best way forward because we do understand this has created great concern within the community because we all know it could be us," she told 2GB.

Photo credit: Channel 7