Parked police vehicle hit on North Devon Link Road
Two Devon traffic officers have been hurt after their parked police car was hit from behind as it helped out a broken down driver.
They’d been working on an incident on the North Devon Link Road near Landkey, just south of Barnstaple at around 5.40 p.m. on Friday, protecting the scene with their marked BMW X5 with all its emergency lighting illuminated when it was hit by a Citreon C4, for reasons yet to be explained, suddenly collided with the rear of the police vehicle.
The officers, a sergeant and a constable with extensive experience in roads policing, were standing at the nearside of the northbound road in line with their training. The force of the collision pushed the police vehicle into the nearside verge, and in doing so, it struck both officers.
The sergeant was thrown into the verge, suffering minor injuries, and the constable ended up underneath the police vehicle, unconscious. The Citreon rebounded into the opposite carriageway colliding with another vehicle which subsequently hit a third motorist.
The sergeant managed to get his colleague out from under the police car. He was taken to North Devon District Hospital for assessment.
The driver of the Citreon C4, a 77-year old female from Bideford wasn’t physically hurt, but was taken to North Devon Hospital for observations as a precaution.
Chief Superintendent Matt Lawler, Head of Specialist Operations for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “I obviously spoke to both officers shortly afterwards, and am so relieved to say they were not more seriously injured. Both are now at home being supported by their families. This was a truly frightening experience for everyone involved, especially for the officer who regained consciousness whilst still lying underneath his own police vehicle, and I pay tribute to the courage and focus of his sergeant in coming to his aid.
“This highlights the dangerous role that our roads policing officers undertake every day on our behalf, and it’s obvious to say that this could easily have resulted in fatalities. It is a challenging, complex, and risky task to police our fast roads, and we should all be thankful for the dedication shown by our roads policing officers”.
The driver of the broken down vehicle was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, and investigations into the circumstances of the accident continue. Officers will also be investigating their reasons for being out during lockdown.
The police have thanked the public for their patience after the link road was closed for the investigation and recovery of all the vehicles involved.