A413 MISCONDUCT INQUIRY: PC Hugh Flanagan did not believe the road was icy enough to warrant closure

Left to Right: PC Stamp, Irwin and Flanagan
Left to Right: PC Stamp, Irwin and Flanagan

PC Hugh Flanagan gave evidence yesterday (Feb 23) regarding TVP's failure to close the A413 after a road traffic accident, which was then followed by a fatal accident.

The Court 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.

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

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

The first accident took place at 4:52 on March 4 before a second, in which Malcolm Tindall, 64, of Aylesbury and Carl Bird, 29, of High Wycombe died when the vehicles they were travelling in crashed at 6am on the same date.

The road had been gritted the night before (March 3) at 21:33.

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 inquest also heard that PC Flanagan had no communication with Mr Kendell 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: "I got out of my car and noticed the road was very icy, there was a layer of crushed ice 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".

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:

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

- TheDid 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 hearing continues, with a verdict expected on Wednesday.

The hearing continues, with a verdict expected on Wednesday.