Raymond Keith SMITH
( late of Maitland )
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # 14157
Redfern Academy Class – 122
Rank: Junior Trainee from about April 1970 ( ” 6 Week Wonder ” )
Probationary Constable – appointed 22 June 1970
Constable 1st Class – appointed 22 June 1975
Sergeant 3rd Class – appointed 20 November 1985
Senior Sergeant – appointed 1990 – death
Stations: ?, Rockdale – Clearway Cyclist, Goulburn for 18 years to become Sgt, Maitland District HWP Supervisor ( SenSgt ), Traffic Co-ordinator Northern Suburbs District Hornsby – 3 years, Parramatta – Traffic Support Group Operations Manager – death
Service: From pre June 1970 to 13 July 1998 = 28+ years Service
Awards: National Medal – granted 8 June 1988
1st Clasp to National Medal – granted 2 December 1995
Born: 2 August 1950
Died on: 13 July 1998
Cause: Motor Vehicle Accident – Police motor cycle – Non Urgent
Event location: F3 Freeway, Calga
Age: 47 Single, unmarried with no children
Funeral date: Friday 17 July 1998
Buried at: Cremated Woronora Cemetery
Memorial location: Police Memorial Wall – Woronora Cemetery, Sutherland
Plot: Centenary Court, Rose Garden 2, #01
On the morning of 13 July, 1998 Senior Sergeant Smith was riding a police motor cycle to work along the F3 Freeway near Calga when a piece of wood fell from a truck, hitting him and causing the cycle to collide with a rock wall. It is thought that the sergeant was killed instantly.
The sergeant was born in 1950 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 22 June, 1970. At the time of his death he was attached to the Traffic Support Group, Parramatta.
Police pay tribute to Sen Sgt Ray Smith 20 years on
TWENTY years ago today we lost one of the state’s most experienced police motorcyclists and the public face of road safety.
Senior Sergeant Ray Smith was riding to work along the F3 Freeway (now M1) 3km south of the Calga interchange, near Mount White, at 6.10am on July 13, 1998, when a 30cm by 40cm piece of wood fell off the back of a truck in front.
The wood bounced off the road and into the 47-year-old’s helmet as he travelled 100km/h.
The impact sent his bike into a concrete wall, killing him instantly.
Today, two decades later and the state’s top traffic cop Chief Inspector Phil Brooks said the dangers to motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users was as real now as it was then.
“Primarily it certainly highlights the risks police face every day of the week,” Chief Insp Brooks said.
“Police leave home and their families expect them to come home after their duties.”
Chief Insp Brooks was a relatively junior officer when Sen Sgt Smith was killed but remembers well the profound sense of loss which swept through the entire NSW Police Force.
At the time Sen Sgt Smith was one of 26 police motorcyclists patrolling NSW roads.
Today Chief Insp Phil Brooks said of the fleet of 680 Traffic and Highway Patrol vehicles, 100 were motorcycles.
He said they remained an important asset to enforcing road safety and minimising congestion in the event of crashes and other road issues.
He said there were 6.19 million licence holders in NSW driving 6.5 million registered vehicles and the M1 — which has seen vehicle movements increase dramatically in the past 20 years — continued to be a big focus for police.
“Our road safety programs are such that cars and Highway Patrol vehicles are tasked to that road every day of the week,” he said.
“While there are significant road works along the M1 the crash risk is minimised by a very visible police presence.”
At 10am today Traffic & Highway Patrol Command staff at Huntingwood came together to recognise the service of Senior Sgt Smith.
Staff were welcomed at today’s memorial by Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, who noted the significant service that police motorcyclists give to the community every day.
Meanwhile police on the Central Coast observed a minute’s silence this morning.
Only yesterday Brisbane Water police found the body and the wreckage of a man who had gone for a ride the previous day along the Old Pacific Highway at Bar Point.
The 34-year-old had left his Ryde home about 2pm on Wednesday.
When he had not arrived home at 11pm his worried partner contacted police.
Officers scoured the Old Road where they eventually found his body at 3.30am.
The man had lost control, gone down an embankment and collided with a tree.
Meanwhile the Coronial Inquest into the death of Senior Sgt Smith found the truck driver — who continued on oblivious to the carnage behind him — “had done everything right” in securing his load.
At the time of his death Sen Sgt Smith was a member of the Traffic Support Group and the focal point of the previous year’s road safety campaign Operation Slowdown.
But 27 years’ riding experience and a life dedicated to road safety were unable to save him from the freak accident.
“There was no way of escaping,” Sen Sgt Smith’s colleague of seven years, Sergeant Graeme Priest said at the time.
Sen Sgt Smith lived at Maitland and was travelling to work at Parramatta when the accident occurred.
He never married and had no children. Fellow officers said his life was dedicated to serving in the police force and he had a love of motorcycles, of which he had a collection.
#Vale Senior Sergeant Raymond Keith Smith #14157
At 10am today Traffic & Highway Patrol Command staff, Huntingwood, came together to recognise the service of Senior Sergeant Smith, who tragically lost his life at 6:10am on the 13 July, 1998, 20 years ago today.
Staff were welcomed at today’s memorial by Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, who noted the significant service that police motorcyclists give to the community every day, keeping road users safe, as Senior Sergeant Smith proudly did during his career. A/Inspector Clint Williams acknowledged Senior Sergeant Smith‘s career history, and Police Chaplain, Father Paul O’Donoghue told those present that ‘…those who served alongside Ray were his family..’, and noted the sad loss that Ray‘s sister must have suffered after this sad event. Father O’Donoghue then offered a prayer where those present observed a minutes silence in memory.
Featured in these photographs is ‘HWP-200‘ (Call sign Traffic 200) which we struck in memory of the life & career of Senior Sergeant Ray Smith.