A police officer who knocked down and killed a Denaby dad of two when on a 999 call has been cleared of criminal charges over the death.
A court heard that Pc David Allen was driving at more than 70mph in a 30mph zone when his patrol car hit Ian Hambrey (49), who was walking home after a night with pals at the pub.
But a jury found the 35-year-old not guilty on Tuesday of causing death by dangerous driving and an alternate charge of causing death by inconsiderate or careless driving.
The jury had been told that divorced Mr Hambrey was walking to the home he shared with his mother in Denaby Main when the accident happened.
A machinist for Northern Plastics Ltd, he had been drinking at the Imperial Club in Mexborough and headed for home at about 1am on March 3 last year.
When his friends saw him leave the pub he had said he was going to get some takeaway food before returning home, the court heard.
As he crossed Doncaster Road in Denaby Main, he was hit by Pc Allen, who was answering an immediate emergency call about a 13-year-old who had collapsed unconscious after drinking cider.
Information from the black box recorder in his vehicle revealed that he had braked just 1.1 seconds before the crash. Pc Allen struck Mr Hambrey at 60mph.
The court heard Pc Allen was travelling in a Ford Focus patrol car with another officer with blue lights flashing but no siren when he hit Mr Hambrey.
He lost control of the vehicle after hitting Mr Hambrey and smashed into a lamppost, before getting out of the car and administering emergency first aid as he waited for an ambulance, the jury was told. Mr Hambrey died on arrival at hospital.
Mr Nicholas Barker, prosecuting, told the court that Pc Allen was “an accident waiting to happen and as such his driving fell well below the required standard.”
But the jury also heard that the officer knew the route well and had believed his speed was appropriate in the circumstances.
His lawayer, Ms Heidi Cotton, said he had done nothing “other than react as quickly as he could.”
Pc Allen has been working on restricted duties and an assessment will now be carried out to decide when he can return to operational duties.
After the hearing, Supt Ian Bint said: “We would like to pass our condolences to the family of Ian Hambrey. The force referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission in order that an independent investigation into the full circumstances could be carried out.
“A decision was taken by the Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute the officer driving the police vehicle involved in the collision.
“Having heard all of the evidence the jury has decided that Pc Allen was not guilty of the offence for which he appeared before the court.
“We will work with the IPCC to ensure that we take appropriate action to reduce the likelihood of any similar incidents occurring.”
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