Wayne Allen RIXON
New South Wales Police Force
Police Academy Class
Probationary Constable # 92154
Regd. # ?
Rank: Probationary Constable – appointed 3 April 1978
Constable 1st Class – Death
Stations: Mounted Police Unit & ‘C’ District ( Maroubra ) HWP
Service: From 23 January 1978 to 3 January 1985
Born: 27 August 1957
Died: 3 January 1985
Cause: Motor Vehicle Pursuit – stolen vehicle – Driver – Urgent Duty
Event location: Hayes St & Dunning Ave, Rosebery
Funeral date: Wednesday 9 January, 1985
Funeral location: ? Church, Bega
Buried at: Bega Cemetery
Memorial location: ?
About 5pm on 3 January, 1985 Constable Rixon and Probationary Constable Meredith Ireland were travelling in a Police Highway Patrol vehicle in Bannerman Crescent, Rosebery when they became involved in the high speed pursuit of a stolen vehicle. As the pursuit continued along Hayes Street the stolen vehicle sped through stop signs at the intersection of Dunning Avenue. The police vehicle slowed at the intersection but unfortunately collided with a truck that had been travelling along Dunning Avenue. After hitting the truck the police vehicle spun around and slammed into a brick wall. Constable Rixon sustained severe head and internal injuries and had to be released from the police vehicle by the Police Rescue Squad. He was conveyed to the Royal South Sydney Hospital where he was found to be dead on arrival. Constable Ireland was treated at the Prince of Wales Hospital for lacerations and shock before she was allowed to leave.
The constable was born in 1957 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 23 January, 1978. At the time of his death he was attached to the Maroubra Highway Patrol.
Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Thursday 10 January 1985, page 9
Hundreds attend funeral of constable at Bega
From BRONWYN YOUNG, in Bega
Hundreds of people packed the church and lined the streets of Bega yesterday for the police funeral of highway patrolman Constable First Class Wayne Rixon, 27, killed in a high-speed car chase in Sydney last Thursday.
About 100 police in uniform and plainclothes had been arriving in Bega for the funeral since Tuesday.
Constable First Class Rixon was working with Maroubra highway patrol when he died on Thursday, but he grew up in Bega. Many of the people in the church and watching from the street had gone to school with
him. Police closed two roads for the funeral procession and its police escort.
The coffin draped with the Australian flag was carried from the church by six police officers.
Some of them had worked with Constable First Class Rixon in Maroubra. A seventh police officer, Sergeant Grahame Langford, of the NSW Police Academy, Redfern, walked in front of the coffin carrying the constable’s cap on a blue cushion. The caps of the six pallbearers lay on the roof of the waiting hearse.
Two mounted highway patrolmen in full ceremonial uniform
headed the solemn procession which escorted the hearse from the church. Among those marching were Acting Commissioner Barney Ross, Assistant Commissioner, Traffic, Bill Fleming, and Assistant Commissioner, General, Ted Bunt. The police marched in slow step down the street to the pipes of the NSW Police Pipe Band.
When the procession neared the Bega Courthouse the ranks broke and formed a guard-of honour. The hearse passed between the lines and gathered speed as it turned on to the road to the Bega Cemetery.
The Canberra Times
Wednesday 10 December 1975 p 38
Junior Open title ……
Country boys, although outnumbered, outshone their metropolitan rivals in the Tully Park event.
Another Queanbeyan player, G. Gibson, won the Brian Todkill Memorial trophy in the 36 hole stabelford event for juniors and school boys.
Wayne Carpenter, of Orange, won the junior country title with an aggregate of 148 and Wayne Rixon, of Bega, the country schoolboy title with 149.
The Canberra Times
Monday 12 February 1973 p1
November 6, 2004
Alone in his patrol car, Chris Thornton had the police siren flashing as he chased a white sedan through Woy Woy.
Thornton, 35, a highway patrolman, had been in the force for 15 years. He was, his mother says, “the best driver I have ever seen”.
The reason for the chase that night in April 2002 is unknown. Both cars were seen travelling at high speed. Thornton was about 50 metres behind.
Meanwhile, Leonard Rowley, 56, an unlicensed driver, was driving to his local KFC to pick up dinner. He saw the first car flash past and judged – wrongly – that he had time to turn out in front of the patrol car. Thornton tried to avoid Rowley’s car but clipped the back, veered onto the wrong side of the road and hit a power pole.
Thornton died on the spot, which is marked by a permanent stainless-steel cross. Rowley later received a suspended two-year sentence.
“His life from the age of 12 was about helping people,” says Thornton’s mother, Freada Thornton. “He was in the surf club and he was there to rescue people and then he went into the force and he was doing the same thing.” His father, Barry Thornton, says: “He loved life. He had been in Gosford for 15 years and was so popular with the community there.”
Police pursuits are, says Barry, a necessary evil: “If they don’t catch the criminals there will be more deaths on the roads. The ones that they’re in pursuit of are the idiots that have done the wrong thing to start with.”
But pursuits have come at a cost to the NSW Police Department. Fifteen officers have died as a result of high-speed chases, beginning with the death of Constable George Boore in 1937.
Details provided by the NSW Police Association show a steady stream of fatalities involving cars and motorcycles. The full list of casualties is as follows:
April 2, 1937: Constable George Boore;
June 2, 1954: Constable Cecil Sewell;
November 14, 1958: Constable Brian Boaden;
December 23, 1958: Constable William Lord;
October 14, 1961: Constable James Kinnane;
September 7, 1963: Constable Colin Robb;
December 2, 1976: Constable Terry Moncur;
January 3, 1985: Constable Wayne Rixon;
July 25, 1985: Detective-Constable Steven Tier;
October 20, 1987: Constable Themelis Macarounas;
August 24, 1988: Constable Peter Carter;
June 13, 1989: Constable Peter Figtree;
June 14, 1989: Senior Constable Glenn Rampling;
January 14, 2001: Senior Constable James Affleck;
April 13, 2002: Senior Constable Christopher Thornton.