Mystery surrounds the death of pioneer wildlife filmmaker Malcolm Douglas who died in a car accident on his property yesterday.
A staff member found the 69-year-old’s body at 6.20am, crushed between his 4WD vehicle and a tree, but police don’t know how he came to be in that position in the first place.
The time of death is also a mystery and, while police emphasise that his death is not suspicious, they do not know what caused the car to start up and crush Douglas after he got out of the vehicle. They said no one else was there and the adventurer was dead when he was found.
Detective Sergeant Brett Baddock of Broome Police said the vehicle did not appear to have rolled, but somehow started and moved forward. The specialist vehicle inspectors from Perth would be flown to the northwest outpost to examine the car to try to determine what went wrong.
He said speed and alcohol were not factors, there were no skid marks and the weather was clear, with no rain or fog.
“It was not suspicious. It’s an unfortunate accident,” he said.
Renowned naturalist, author and TV personality Dr Harry Butler said he was saddened by the sudden loss of a friend.
“It is one less person effectively fighting for conservation in this state,” Dr Butler said.
“I think that he did a good job of educating and inducting people into understanding that crocodiles are not in your face and are not horrible ‘beasties’ and are something that are just another aspect of nature.
“His crocodile farm will keep on going but I think his character won.”
Seven will play one of two unseen documentaries by Douglas next Wednesday night at 9:30pm. The network is also understood to have commissioned two more from the veteran performer.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.