Second police crash probe

CRASH investigators are today probing how two police cars answering emergency calls were involved in separate collisions in as many days.An investigation is under way today into the second crash involving a police car which was making an emergency dash.

CRASH investigators are today probing how two police cars answering emergency calls were involved in separate collisions in as many days.

An investigation is under way today into the second crash involving a police car which was making an emergency dash.

The marked patrol car was travelling to a high-priority “grade one” emergency when it was in collision with a Peugeot at the junction of Norwich Road and Highfield Approach just after 5pm yesterday.

One neighbour reported hearing a loud bang but when they went to investigate they found all the occupants of the vehicles out of their cars and without any obvious injuries.

The timing of the accident could not have been worse for Suffolk Constabulary as it sparked the second inquiry to be launched since Tuesday into what led a police car travelling to an emergency to crash.

The Norwich Road crash came less than 24 hours after the first collision, which left two police officers and an elderly man needing hospital treatment.

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That collision, between a police car on its way to a high-priority call and the elderly man's Skoda Felicia, happened at 10.15pm on Tuesday in Landseer Road.

Both crashes will be subject to investigations by specialist officers from Suffolk Police's Roads Policing Unit and overseen by its Professional Standards Department.

Both the police officers and the man driving the Peugeot escaped uninjured from yesterday's crash.

The 54-year-old motorist hurt in Tuesday's accident has now been discharged from hospital after being treated for minor injuries.

The officer who was a passenger in the police car remains in Ipswich Hospital where he is undergoing further tests for back injuries.

Witnesses to either of this week's collisions should call acting sergeant Brian Scanlan at Suffolk Constabulary's Roads Policing Unit on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Were you involved in any of the accidents? Do you know the 54-year-old motorist hurt in Tuesday's accident? Call The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

These crashes come as figures reveal that a police vehicle is involved in a road accident nearly every other day in Suffolk on average.

Between April 2005 and the end of March this year, there were 178 collisions involving Suffolk police vehicles.

Two-thirds of these collisions were minor incidents with no third party involvement. However, the collisions led to six injuries to police officers, one of which was the fatality of Pc Cheryl Lloyd, in West End Road, Ipswich, in July last year. There was also one serious injury and four minor injuries. No members of the public were injured in the collisions.

During the past six years, there have been almost 1,000 collisions involving Suffolk police vehicles.

Supt Beach said: “Given the number of response calls for urgent assistance, you have to see that the number of accidents - and given that no members of the public were injured - shows officers take the utmost caution.”

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