Police cleared in Wilson death

Coroner Kim Parkinson says there is insufficient evidence to prove police were involved in the death of Colac hermit Hugh Wilson, pictured.

A CORONIAL inquest into the death of Colac’s Hugh Wilson has failed to identify the person responsible for the 1976 hit-and-run.

Coroner Kim Parkinson delivered her findings in Melbourne today, and said there was insufficient evidence to prove allegations of police involvement in Mr Wilson’s death.

A passer-by found Mr Wilson’s body on the Colac-Lavers Hill Road on the morning of September 12, 1976.

Rumours circulated Colac and district after Mr Wilson’s death, with claims a police car had hit Mr Wilson and the car had been secretly repaired at Colac’s Laneway Panels.

Ms Parkinson said evidence had shown a police car was repaired at the panel shop “on the quiet”, but it didn’t prove the car was involved in Mr Wilson’s death.

“The police vehicle which was repaired at Laneway Panels at or around the time of Mr Wilson’s death had not sustained the damage likely to have been sustained if it were the vehicle which hit Mr Wilson,” Ms Parkinson said.

She also ruled out allegations that a group of Colac district youths had hit Mr Wilson in a car and then struck him over the head with a piece of wood.

“I find that the cause of death was severe compound fracture of the skull, extensive brain contusion and multiple fractures sustained as a result of the motor vehicle collision in which he was a pedestrian,” Ms Parkinson said.

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