Jury considering its conclusion following ‘very tragic’ deaths of Sheffield police officer and woman in Christmas Day horror crash

A coroner has described the deaths of a woman and a police officer who died in a horror Christmas Day crash as ‘very tragic’ as jurors retired to consider their conclusion.

Thursday, 9th May 2019, 2:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th May 2019, 2:35 pm

Sheffield Senior Coroner Christopher Dorries said the deaths of PC Dave Fields, aged 45, and Lorraine Stephenson, aged 61, in a crash on the A57 Mosborough Parkway on December 25, 2017.

The inquest jury had previously heard PC Fields’ ‘lost control’ of his BMW patrol car on his way to reports of a street brawl, involving up to 15 people, one of whom was armed with a metal bar.

They were also told the call to stand down was made at 8.18pm – the same time as police received a 999 call reporting the crash involving PC Fields’ car.

PC Dave Fields.

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Mr Dorries called the deaths ‘very tragic’ and said it was a ‘bitter, bitter irony for all involved’ that the emergency call was called off at almost the exact time that the collision occurred.

The inquest jury had previously heard the data recorder in PC Fields’ car logged it as travelling at 103mph just before he lost control and that the car’s speedometer was frozen at 74mph at the time of the collision.

The court also heard how PC Fields raised concerns about the handling of South Yorkshire Police’s patrol cars in an email to a sergeant.

Mr Dorries also said the jury may wish to consider evidence given by expert witness Robert Crispin who said the speed of the vehicle and the condition of the road were contributing factors to the collision.

Lorraine Stephenson.

And he also mentioned the evidence of Supt Simon Wanless who said police officers were always asked to continually asses the risks of execceding statutory limits and said it was always ‘better to arrive late than not arrive at all’.

The inquests continue.