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Police driver fined for death crash

PUBLISHED: 07:22 05 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:29 03 March 2010

A HIGHLY trained Suffolk police driver has been fined £500 after admitting responsibility for a 100mph accident in which a colleague was killed.

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A HIGHLY trained Suffolk police driver has been fined £500 after admitting responsibility for a 100mph accident in which a colleague was killed.

Pc Wayne Naylor, 39, a firearms officer and police driving instructor, was driving a high performance police car when it veered out of control on the A14 in February, last year.

His colleague and passenger, Pc Peter Evans, was killed after Naylor lost control of their marked Vauxhall Omega police car in bad weather conditions and it skidded for 50 metres on its roof before smashing into a telegraph pole.

Appearing at Norwich Crown Court yesterday , Naylor admitted driving without due care and attention – reduced from a previous charge of causing death by dangerous driving, which he had denied.

The court heard how Naylor, now stationed at Haverhill police station, had been driving back to Bury St Edmunds at around 2.30am on February 24 when he encountered snow on the road.

Maura McGowan, prosecuting, said witnesses described the road conditions near Great Saxham, where the accident happened, as "appalling".

"Pc Naylor drove in such a manner and at such speed that he failed to have sufficient regard to the weather and road conditions.

"He lost control of the vehicle while driving at speed in the order of 100mph," she said.

"It resulted in the vehicle leaving the road and going into a lay-by. It travelled 55m on its wheels before overturning and travelling 50m on its roof and coming eventually to collide with a telegraph pole.

"On March 17, he was interviewed and explained that they had been returning to Bury St Edmunds police station when they noticed a vehicle travelling at substantial speed and gave pursuit.

"He went on to describe suddenly encountering a white line of snow across both lanes. He said he immediately took his foot of the accelerator and did not touch the brakes at all."

Mrs McGowan added: "The crown can find no support for the presence of the other vehicle. None of the other drivers saw such a vehicle. It was clear he simply lost control."

Pc Evans, 33, a single man from the Bury St Edmunds area, was pronounced dead at the scene.

While Naylor was seriously injured and taken to West Suffolk Hospital, where he was treated until March 26.

Anthony Glass QC, for Naylor, said: "Not a day has gone by since February during which Mr Naylor has not deeply regretted his responsibility for the accident in which his friend and colleague died."

Chief superintendent Michael Green, giving evidence in court, said Naylor now carries out light administrative duties and "doesn't want ever again to be the driver of an armed response vehicle with the responsibilities that go with it".

As well as the fine, Judge Paul Downes ordered Naylor to pay £400 costs and have six penalty points on his driving licence.

A Suffolk police spokesman said: "Now the legal proceedings have been completed, the police will review the case to see whether there are any separate internal misconduct matters which need to be addressed."


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