Police car had been travelling at more than 100mph just seconds before Christmas Day horror crash which left two dead
A police car was travelling at more than 100 mph responding to an emergency call just before it ‘lost control’ and collided with another vehicle, leaving two dead in a Christmas Day crash.
PC Dave Fields, aged 45, and Lorraine Stephenson, 61, both died following a crash on the A57 near Mosborough Bypass on December 25, 2017.
Senior Coroner Chris Dorries told Sheffield Coroner’s Court the marked BMW patrol car, driven by PC Fields, 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 with a Citroen car driven by Mrs Stephenson's husband.
The jury of eight women and a man 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.
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.”
Mrs Stephenson was a front seat passenger in the car.
Mr Dorries said witnesses had described there being heavy rain in the area around an hour or so before the collision, which happened at around 8.20pm.
He said: "The rear of the police vehicle collided with the front passenger side of Mr Stephenson's car."
Mr Dorries said the inquest will look at whether the police car aquaplaned immediately before the collision.
The jury was told that aquaplaning happens when a layer of water develops between a tyre and the road surface.
Supt Chapman told a jury of eight women and one man that PC Fields' was one of three vehicles responding to the reports of a brawl incident.
But he added that the first officer at the scene found nothing and all units were stood down.
The jury was 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.
Supt Chapman agreed there was no evidence PC Fields neither received nor acknowledged the call.
Mr Dorries said the inquest, which is due to last up to six days, will look at a number of factors relating to ‘how the police vehicle lostcontrol’ and issues which can affect aquaplaning, including the pressure of the police car's tyres, its speed, and the amount of water on the road.
Collision investigator Robert Crispin told the inquest that once a car starts to aquaplane ithe driver has ‘no control whatsoever’.
The inquest continues.