TWO specialist police drivers from South Yorkshire involved in a motorway smash have been praised for their guilty pleas which spared their victims the ordeal of a trial.
PC Paul Salvesen, aged 40, and Det Con Anthony Perkins, 53, admitted careless driving after they both crashed separately into a car carrying five children.
Some of the youngsters were catapulted from their vehicle by the impact.
The officers were travelling in separate vehicles along the M1, near junction 34 at Tinsley, when PC Salvesen collided with a Seat Alhambra driven by a woman and carrying five children aged two to 11.
Moments later DC Perkins’ unmarked BMW ploughed into the Alhambra with such force that some of the children were thrown clear. An 11-year-old boy landed in the central reservation.
The prosecution told Leeds Crown Court it was fortunate nobody was killed or seriously injured.
Samuel Green, representing Perkins, said both officers, who were banned from driving for eight months, were speeding at the time of the offence, which happened while the pair were on duty and going from one policing task to another.
The officers are trained drivers who specialise in the covert surveillance of criminals and gangs.
The case was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service after an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
PC Salversen was fined £400 and DC Perkins £500.
IPCC Commissioner Nicholas Long said: “The evidence presented by IPCC investigators following an independent investigation was such that the officers pleaded at a very early stage.
“The fact that these two officers pleaded guilty to these driving offences, thus sparing a family of the ordeal of a trial, should be noted.”
South Yorkshire Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Bob Dyson said: “The two officers have chosen to plead guilty and we will now consider whether there is any further action that needs to be taken in respect of the officers and any recommendations made by the IPCC.”