This is a video taken on 10 January 2011 in Dent Street, Toowoomba, on the day that John Tyson lost his wife and son in an inland tsunami.

The man being rescued is Edward Robert William Spark.

This is he.


Edward is the fella who gave two contradictory statements about what happened on the day that John Tyson had his heart ripped out.

He’s the bloke who saved the Assistant Commissioner of Queensland Police’s career.

Temporarily at least.

Edward – known to his mates as Sparky – didn’t have a clue about what he was doing when Detective Inspector Mark Ainsworth bowled in from Brisbane, put his hand on his shoulder and whispered in his ear that if he knew what was good for him he might want to waltz down to the station and make a second statement about his recollection of events on the day that Donna and Jordan Rice died, because the first one he had given simply made too much sense,

Sparky isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but he was bright enough to know that what was good for him was keeping the coppers onside, because after driving his car through some mugs fence on 29 December 2010, and then bragging about it on Facebook, his best mate Johnny Wheeler had been done for dangerous driving while unlicensed, unregistered, disqualified, and in all likelihood as high as a kite, although we will never know because Johnny didn’t hang around to get breath tested, he took the bolt.

Johnny knows what’s good for him. He just doesn’t care, because he did it again just a few weeks later when he and a mate pinched a car, doctored the plates, took it for a thrash out Warwick way.

He wasn’t the best driver in the world our Johnny, but the glass pipe and the crystal meth made him think he was, so he took the hairpin turn around the railway line at Nobby while going about 150kmh.

Predictably – to anyone not on ice at least – Johnny lost it around the bend and flipped the car, totally trashing it along the way. Once more he took the bolt, this time followed by his unidentified passenger and partner in crime, whose name just may have been Edward Robert William Spark, but we can’t confirm that because when the coppers caught Johnny a week or so later  – after he’d pinched yet another car, this time with a 16 year old mate, and been caught – he never coughed up a name.

Or perhaps Johnny did.  Who knows? Whatever you prefer.

What we do know is that Johnny was due in court for sentencing just 10 days after D.I. Mark Ainsworth – the older brother of my team-mate from the 1982 under 14 Super A premiership winning Valley Diehards super team, he played second row I wore number 1, quite appropriately too – came a’knocking and told Sparky that they needed to have a quiet chat about how he made a few mistakes in his first statement about the flood, and in all likelihood reminded him that police were still looking for that passenger from the stolen car that flipped on the railway, and gee the bloke’s description looks like you.

Sparky knew what was good for him.

He made a second statement.

It was completely different from the first – as I am about to explain in the next story – but Sparky didn’t care because it wasn’t his story anyway.

The cops had written it, using words he didn’t really understand, but they said it was what the doctor ordered, and that if the doctor was happy then passengers in rolled stolen cars became invisible, and that was all Sparky needed to hear.

So he signed the statement D.I. Ainsworth had so kindly made up and written down for him and toddled off back to Crows Nest, and that was the end of that.

Until now anyway.