Support our mission

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — A 60-year-old Australian woman was critically injured Sunday after the bike she was riding collided with a military vehicle operated by two U.S. Navy sailors in Australia participating in Talisman Sabre 2011, U.S. military and Australian police officials said Monday.

The sailors, who were on duty at the time of the crash, were not injured, according to Chris Loy, a public affairs officer for the Queensland Police Service. The North Ipswich woman — whose name was not released — suffered serious head, pelvic and spinal fractures. She had surgery and is in critical condition at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Loy said.

“Last I heard she was in a very bad way,” Loy said. “It’s not really looking good at this stage. It’s pretty sad. Sometimes accidents just happen.”

The crash remains under investigation and no charges have been filed, Loy said.

The crash occurred about 9 a.m. Sunday at a three-way intersection near Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley, Loy said. Witnesses have come forward and are working with police to piece together the circumstances of the crash, he said. The sailors stayed at the scene afterwards and have been cooperating with police in their investigation, he added.

The sailors are attached to VP-40, a P-3 aircraft squadron out of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash., according to Air Force Capt. Rebecca Heyse, a spokeswoman for the Talisman Sabre Combined Joint Information Bureau. She declined to give their names, but said the 24-year-old driver is a third class petty officer and the 28-year-old passenger is a first class petty officer.

Heyse said alcohol was not a factor.

burkem@pstripes.osd.mil

author picture
Matthew M. Burke has been reporting from Okinawa for Stars and Stripes since 2014. The Massachusetts native and UMass Amherst alumnus previously covered Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, for the newspaper. His work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, Cape Cod Times and other publications.
twitter Email

Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up