Death-crash Pc doing 75 in 30mph zone 'was an accident waiting to happen'

A YORKSHIRE policeman accused of causing death by dangerous driving after he struck a pedestrian while responding to an emergency call was an "accident waiting to happen", a jury was told.

Pc David Allen was driving at speeds of up to 75mph in a 30mph zone in Doncaster, moments before he struck Ian Hambrey, Leeds Crown Court heard.

The 49-year-old victim was returning home from a night out when he was hit by the Ford Focus patrol car on Doncaster Road, Denaby Main in March last year.

The court was told the 35-year-old officer and a colleague were responding to reports of a 13-year-old boy being unconscious from drink when the collision with Mr Hambrey took place at 2.38am.

The force of the impact scattered some of Mr Hambrey's possessions across the carriageway, including his phone and a training shoe. The police car came to a stop as it hit a lamppost.

Mr Hambrey, who worked as a machinist at a plastics factory, was given emergency first-aid at the scene by officers and was taken to hospital but pronounced dead on arrival.

The jury was told Allen had activated the car's flashing lights, but no sirens were being sounded.

Mr Hambrey, a divorced father-of-two who lived with his mother, had been drinking that night and blood tests revealed he was two-and-a-half times over the drink drive limit.

Prosecuting Nicholas Barker said: "The defendant was going too fast in the circumstances. He knew this area as a local police officer and he knew it well.

"He knew it was a residential district with people living nearby. As a police officer he knew full well, the Crown say, at around 2.30 on a Sunday morning there would be people around who would be worse the wear for drink. He was attending just such a call-out himself.

"He knew he was driving in a 30mph zone and at that speed he was travelling he gave himself no chance to take avoiding action.

"At the speed of 75mph, the Crown can say, he was an accident waiting to happen. As such his driving fell well below the required standard," the prosecutor added.

Mr Barker said police officers could exceed the speed limits and pass through traffic lights when responding to an emergency, but safety was paramount.

"All road users, whether motorists, cyclists or pedestrians are entitled to a safe environment that cannot be put at risk by police officers who may be responding to an emergency," he added.

The jury was told that when it was 135 metres from the point of impact, the police car was travelling at 75mph.

At 35 metres, or 1.1 seconds from impact, the officer began to break and struck Mr Hambrey at 60mph, the court heard.

Allen, who gave his address as South Yorkshire Police Operations Complex in Tinsley, Sheffield, at an earlier hearing, is charged with causing death by dangerous driving and an alternative charge of causing death by careless driving.

He denies the charges and the trial continues.