A413 MISCONDUCT HEARING: Officer takes the stand in fatal crash misconduct hearing

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An officer who faces a gross misconduct hearing over the events leading up to a fatal collison on the A413 gave evidence in his defence today.

Response officers PCs David Stamp, Hugh Flanagan and Caroline Irwin face a series of alleged professional standard breaches in relation to the incident between Wendover and Great Missenden on March 4 2014.

Malcolm Tindall from Aylesbury, and a Carl Bird died when their cars collided on the stretch of road in icy conditions. A woman travelling with Mr Bird was also seriously injured.

Three police officers have been accused of misconduct after failing to shut an icy road before a fatal accident.

The hearing heard that PC Hugh Flanagan, despite experiencing “loss of traction and momentary wheel spin” in his own vehicle and seeing a taxi “skid to a stop”, that he believed that it was appropriate that the road was re-opened after the accident involving a car ending up in a ditch after slipping on black ice.

PC Flanagan said: “I do not believe there was any correlation between the incidents.” He added there was “No comparison” between the weather conditions of the first crash and the second.

The hearing also heard that PC Flanagan had no communication with Mr Kendall to ascertain where the ice that caused the accident was, nor did he believe that the road was icy enough to warrant its closure.

Witness statements collected after the first incident said: “The road was thick with a blanket of crushed Ice, the road was very icy. There was water across the road.”

A forensic collision investigation reported: “Despite gritting, standing water was dragged across the road which then froze due to the sub zero temperatures. The report claims that frost was visible on the hedgerows that skirt the A413.

An independent panel chairman will rule on their guilt or otherwise when the case is completed on March 4.

The misconduct hearing started on Monday.

At 04:52 GMT on 4 March 2014, driver Martin Kendall phoned Thames Valley Police to report he had crashed his car on the A413 between Wendover and Great Missenden.

The following breaches have been alleged:

Failed to prevent anyone travelling on the A413 from suffering harm or address the risk posed by the ice

Did not carry out a sufficient investigation into Mr Kendall’s accident

Left the scene of the accident when they should have remained

Failed to warn road users of the hazard, to request other officers attend the scene or bring appropriate warning signs

Left the scene without making sure the carriageway was safe

Having found the carriageway needed gritting, failed to insist the controller contacted the Highways Agency

The case continues.