Australia

Mystery call could solve firey’s death

An anonymous caller has given a bombshell tip to police investigating the hit-and-run death of a Kiwi firefighter who was found on the side of the road in the state’s Hunter Region in 2018.

New Zealand firefighter Ian Pullen, aged 43, had travelled to the Hunter Region to assist with bushfire efforts.

But his life was tragically cut short when he was hit by a car and left to die on the side of the road.

Emergency crews were called to Carrington St, Glenridding, just after 5.30am September 29 2018, after his body was found.

Police believe Mr Pullen was struck by a vehicle between 4am and 5.30am that day.

Police have revealed the anonymous caller told authorities the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run returned to the scene and the occupants got out of the car and approached Mr Pullen while he was still alive.

A $350,000 reward remains on offer for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

In September last year Mr Pullen’s mother Gill Pullen issued an emotional plea for witnesses to come forward with information.

“We can't get closure. We can’t go on with a life. All I've got now is our memories from my son growing up,” she told a media conference.

“I carry his ashes around my neck. This has been on there since the day he was cremated. It's never been taken off.”

She described the 12 months after Mr Pullen’s death as “hell”.

Ms Pullen said her son was risking his own life to help fight bushfires on Australian soil and deserved better.

“Why couldn't you stop? I mean, okay, it might have been an accident. But why not stop?” Ms Pullen said.

“I mean, if you hit an animal, you don't leave them lying on the side of the road for somebody else to find.”

In March last year police released the image of a white utility vehicle with a black bull bar, which they believe could be similar to the make and model of vehicle involved in the accident.

Detectives remain adamant someone out there in the community knows what happened.

Last year Hunter Valley crime manager Acting Inspector Steve Benson said police have active leads into Mr Pullen’s death.

But two years later and no arrests have been made.

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