A GUNNEDAH man, who was killed when his car rolled off the road during a police pursuit, has been remembered in court as an adored family man and sports fanatic. Kamilaroi man Andrew Stark, 48, died on September 19, 2022, while being pursued by officers on Wandobah Road, Gunnedah, during a chase which reached speeds of more than 170 km per hour. During a four-day coronial inquest in Gunnedah earlier this year, the court heard details of the moments leading up to the fatal roll-over and evidence from police officers and family members of Mr Stark. Mr Stark, a much-loved father to three sons, was driving to the newsagency to buy the daily paper at about 9am on the day of the crash. Two senior police officers were patrolling the area when they were alerted Mr Stark's car was unregistered. They made a U-turn, and reached speeds of 108 km as they followed to catch up to him. The officers activated their sirens and flashing lights to stop the car, but it failed to stop and a pursuit was launched. During the chase, Mr Stark and the police overtook multiple vehicles and reached speeds of 174km in a 100km zone. While driving at this speed Mr Stark hit a dip on Wandobah Road, which had water pooling in it, and lost control of the car. The car rolled several times, before coming to rest upside down on its roof. Mr Stark sustained multiple injuries and died at the scene. The pursuit lasted three minutes and 22 seconds, the inquest heard. While handing down her findings in Lidcombe Coroner's Court, Deputy State Coroner Erin Kennedy said Mr Stark was not affected by drugs or alcohol while he was behind the wheel. She said he was at the time a disqualified driver, but this was unknown to police during the chase. "He was being pulled over for driving an unregistered car, which carries an imposition of a fine only," she said. "He made the decision to continue on and not stop when required, costing him his life, impacting his children, family, friends, community and police forever." In evidence given by police during the inquest, officers told the court notwithstanding the high speeds of the pursuit, there was not considered to be any danger due to the control of the vehicle Mr Stark demonstrated during the chase. The court heard the police gave little weight to the seriousness of the unregistered vehicle offence, and if the driver could be apprehended in an alternative way. Officers told the court they thought there could be more to the failure to stop than the unregistered offence, and the need to apprehend Mr Stark outweighed the risk of the chase. A senior officer involved in investigating the pursuit found the officers conducted the pursuit in accordance, and compliant with NSW Police policy. He also noted that the speeds reached in the pursuit, particularly in 50km zones, were very reckless. The investigating officer told the inquest the police vehicle was capable of driving in this manner, but there was a difference between Mr Stark's Mitsubishi Lancer and the police car. He said it was hard to comment on the decision to continue the pursuit without being present at the scene. "It is highly relevant that the event took just over three minutes, and the officers were engaged in [what] was a fast moving event, with very limited time to think through what was occurring," Ms Kennedy said during the findings. "I don't make any criticism in this case of the two officers who were making urgent decisions, in a sudden situation that arose and lasted for just over three minutes." Emotional submissions by Mr Stark's family remembered him as a family man who was brought up to respect authority, but had made a mistake on the day of the fatality. Family members spoke of his cheeky story telling, and love for the Canterbury Bulldogs. One family member told the court she did not blame the police for Mr Stark's death but hoped policy around pursuits could be improved so no other family had to experience the same amount of suffering. While handing down her findings, Ms Kennedy said based on the evidence presented she could not find the officers were non-compliant with policy. "However, there seems to be misunderstanding by some officers of the parts of the policy," she said. "It is the pursuit policy in my view that deserves attention, supported by further research, and continuing and improved education." She said there was little or no reflection about what was known of the driver at the time of the pursuit, or the competency, or who was behind the wheel. "That person may or may not have been affected by drugs or alcohol. That person may have been a child," she said. "It would be a better approach to consider that until known or otherwise, the person in the other vehicle may be inexperienced, panicking and possibly under the influence. "That might assist in determining whether the pursuit should continue." Ms Kennedy said it was also apparent from evidence given during the inquest that officers have an assumption a person's failure to stop suggests there could be a more unknown serious offence they've committed. "The reality here was that Andrew had an unregistered vehicle which was a fine only offence," she said. "They knew his name and address as the last registered owner." Ms Kennedy recommended the current policy should be updated to include matters which should be weighed up when considering the need to immediately apprehend someone. She said the seriousness of the offence, the absence of evidence of a more serious offence, and the means to apprehend someone at a later time should be taken into account. Ms Kennedy also recommended training to officers should be revised and updated to emphasise the need to provide a description of the relevant offence to the person managing the pursuit remotely. She said the policy should also be updated to specifically include the risk to the offender, not just the community and police, when initiating and continuing a pursuit.