Police officer Matt Lannie was travelling at over 80mph in 30mph speed limit area on Sheffield road before collision, inquest hears

A popular police officer, who was killed in a collision while responding to an emergency two years ago, was travelling over 80mph in a 30mph speed limit area, an inquest heard.

Friday, 29th April 2022, 4:41 pm

PC Matt Lannie, a traffic officer, was responding to an emergency call when his police motorbike collided with a Toyota Avensis, driven by a 64-year-old man on Nether Lane, Ecclesfield, on April 21, 2020.

The 40-year-old officer from Rotherham, was responding to reports of a silver BMW failing to stop for officers at the time of the crash.

The inquest, held at Sheffield Coroner's Court on Friday, April 29, heard that PC Lannie was travelling at an 'excessive' speed before colliding with the Toyota on what was described as a 'fine, dry and sunny day'.

PC Matt Lannie died in a road traffic collision in Sheffield two years ago

PC Rob Sawyers, who was attached to the forensic collision investigation unit at the time of the collision said he was 'quite concerned' about the topography of the road, which could have concealed PC Lannie as he approached the Toyota driver in the opposite direction.

The inquest also heard that PC Lannie had his flashing blue lights on but he didn't leave his siren on.

He said: "I've not really looked at the speeds as he was heading towards the junction where he turned around but coming back, he's obviously accelerated up to the speed of 84mph prior to the collision and that was within the 40mph zone and he's coming to the 30mph zone at that speed."

Asked if the speed was reasonable for a police officer who was responding to an emergency, PC Sawyers said their decision comes with 'extra caution'.

He said: "Personally speaking, as a police officer of up to 23 years of service with over 16 years in the traffic arena, I was a little bit concerned from the outset that PC Lannie was travelling."

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‘Quite possible’ for Toyota driver to not see him

PC Peter Jennings, who testified said it was 'quite possible' that the Toyota driver, John Harrison, failed to see the motorcycle in time to avoid it.

He said: "There was also a possibility that Mr Harrison could have seen the motorcycle and could have reacted in time but that would have required a reasonably rapid response and certainly would have required him to see or notice it at an early stage."

Senior Coroner David Urpeth then returned with a narrative conclusion.

He said: "A car turned right across Mr Lannie's path and a collision occurred. The evidence was that due to the speed of Mr Lannie's motorcycle and the topography of the area in which the collision took place neither Mr Lannie nor the driver of the other vehicle could avoid a collision and that reaches my conclusion.

"A major factor in this collision however has to be balanced by the fact that Mr Lannie was reasonably responding to a serious incident and as members of the public, we expect the police to respond to emergencies.

"Mr Lannie sadly isn't here today to explain his rationale for why he was intending to continue his speed at the speed that he did and it's not for me to surmise.

"The fact remains that Mr Lannie's death is a tragedy for him and for all those that he leaves behind."