Warwickshire Police officer answering emergency call could not have avoided mobility scooter death crash - The Leamington Observer

Warwickshire Police officer answering emergency call could not have avoided mobility scooter death crash

Leamington Editorial 29th Feb, 2020   0

A WARWICKSHIRE Police officer answering an emergency call could not have avoided a fatal collision with a 74-year-old woman on her mobility scooter, an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has found.

The collision took place on January 23 last year between Bedworth and Nuneaton, close to the Griffin public house on Coventry Road,

Jessie Whitehead was crossing the road at the time, and appeared not to see the marked police car which evidence indicates had its emergency lights and sirens activated.

Police officers gave first aid at the scene ahead of paramedics arriving but the pensioner died in hospital later that evening.

The investigation found the police car was travelling at appropriate speed to the category of response – at around 65 mph on the 50 mph limit carriageway – before the officer braked, immediately prior to the collision, on seeing the scooter enter the road.

The investigation examined accounts from the two officers in the police car, a number of eye-witnesses, viewed relevant CCTV and considered force policies on response driving standards.

IOPC regional director Derrick Campbell said: “ Our investigation found that the police officer was driving at an acceptable speed relevant to an immediate response call and in line with force policy.

“The officer was suitably trained and qualified and sadly, despite efforts to brake, could not have avoided the tragic collision.

“I again send my sympathies to the family and friends of Jessie Whitehead and everyone affected by this terribly sad event.

At Warwickshire Justice Centre an inquest jury returned a conclusion of misadventure.

The police car was responding to a report of an oil leak from a broken-down crane on a road near Nuneaton, causing a dangerous hazard at a bend.

The IOPC independently investigates a range of deaths that occur following police contact, including road traffic fatalities of pedestrians arising from police responding to emergency calls and other police traffic-related activity, as well as deaths resulting from police pursuits.


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