Officer who took his life after horror crash remembered
THE LISMORE police officer first to the scene of a horror car crash killing 20 people has been paid tribute to on the anniversary of his suicide.
On 20 October, 1989, Senior Constable Grant Charles Eastes attended the scene of a bus and semi-trailer collision on the Pacific Highway near Grafton, in which twenty three passengers were also badly injured.
Snr Cnst Eastes suffered Acute Post Traumatic Shock Syndrome following the smash, which was at the time recorded as the worst road accident in Australian history.
Less than a year later, on 13 January, 1990, the senior constable was found dead in a Brisbane motel after taking his own life.
Inspector Ken Walker of Fortitude Valley police said Snr Const Eastes had been on sick leave in the lead up to the suicide.
The death sparked calls from the Police Association to increase support services for police suffering from trauma related to their work.
Richmond Local Area Command paid tribute to Snr Const Eastes on its social media page yesterday.
The community remembered Snr Const Eastes as a "truly wonderful bloke", "quiet achiever" and "good guy".
Cherieanna Behrens said "police fight for us to be safe every day I think we as a country should fight for support for them so they can do there job with the support they need".
Lisa Quinn said "our emergency services see some of the most horrific things and can still do (their) jobs. I take my hat off to everyone of them who can do what they do everyday and still work hard".
Snr Const Eastes' resting place is at the Casino Lawn Cemetery, Casino.
He was born in 1960 and joined the New South Wales Police Force as a Cadet on the 4 July, 1977 and is listed in the official New South Wales Police Honour Roll.
If you need help please call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14, for crisis support and suicide prevention.