Police car ended up in ditch at side of Sheffield road after fatal Christmas Day crash
Witnesses to a Christmas Day horror crash which left two people dead have told an inquest how the police car involved spun in the road and ended up in a ditch.
PC Dave Fields, aged 45, and Lorraine Stephenson, 61, died after the officer ‘lost control’ of his BMW patrol car on the A57 Mosborough Bypass on December 25, 2017.
A jury of eight women and a man heard statements from those in other cars on the road who saw the crash at their inquests at Sheffield Coroner’s Court.
Mrs Stephenson was a front seat passenger in a Citroen car, which the rear end of PC Fields’ BMW patrol car collided with.
In a statement James McKay said the police car’s headlights were shining towards him and that it rotated 90 degrees towards the Stephenson's car, which he he was driving behind.
He said the Stephenson’s car steered ‘sharply to the right in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid the police car'.
Reading Mr McKay’s statement, senior coroner Christopher Dorries said: “I estimate the whole incident – from the point I crossed the roundabout to the incident – last only around 10 to 12 seconds.”
He added: “The force of the impact was huge and debris was thrown in the air and across the carriageway.”
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Mr McKay said he stopped behind the scene of the collision and ran over to the police car.
He added: “I tried to open the driver’s door but I couldn’t. The driver's door window was smashed. In the darkness, I could only make out the silhouette of the driver which was laying over the transmission.”
Mr McKay’s wife Sarah said she remembered feeling a 'sense of disbelief' at seeing the police car come onto their side of the road.
The jury has previously heard the marked BMW patrol car, driven by PC Fields on Christmas Day, was travelling ‘quite rapidly’ responding to a 999 call reporting a street brawl involving up to 15 people on blue lights just before the collision.
The inquest 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.
Speaking on Tuesday, collision investigator Robert Crispin said: “The BMW, for whatever reason, rotated, losing control and rotated so the rear was now leading and the rear of the car hit Mr and Mrs Stephenson’s car on the front near side.”
The inquest continues.