Deathscapes

Ward 1b - Australia Day

Deathscapes

Australia Day 2008

The Ngaanyatjarra elder, Mr Ward, accompanied by his son, was driving along a public road in the town of Laverton in Western Australia’s Goldfields at 9.30pm on Australia Day, 2008.

He was minutes from the turn to the dirt track leading to the Wongatha Wonganarra Community when he was stopped for a random breath test and then taken into custody for drink driving.

By the next day Mr Ward was dead, with a body temperature registering over 41 degrees and large burn marks where his flesh had sizzled when it was seared by the metal sides, floor and seat of the scorching, airless van in which he was transported over 350km through the Western Desert to Kalgoorlie jail. In the graphic words of several commentators, he had been painfully ‘cooked to death.’

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