Northern Ireland

Warrenpoint police deaths inquest: Officers were warned about 4x4 vehicles

Crash scene Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Four police constables died in the crash near Warrenpoint six years ago

An inquest into the deaths of four Police Service of Northern Ireland officers has heard that months before the fatal crash, officers had been reminded not to use armoured 4x4 vehicles for emergency response.

Constables Kevin Gorman, James Magee, Kenny Irvine and Declan Greene were killed in a fire in their 4x4 after it crashed in 2008.

They were travelling down a dark, wet road outside Warrenpoint.

They were going to help a colleague.

On Wednesday, the inquest heard that Superintendent Sam Cordner who was in charge of the Newry and Mourne district at the time of the crash, questioned his superiors about what to do in his area, which had many Mitsubishi Shogun 4x4s and where all patrols had to be armoured because of the threat level.

A lawyer for Kevin Gorman said that Mr Gorman's family believe the officers were in a vehicle that was unsuitable for the task and which could have contributed towards the accident.

The man currently responsible for police driver training, said the driver of the 4x4 would have received the highest level of driver training in the UK.

Trevor Holdsworth also said that only standard driver training was needed for the armoured Mitsubishi Shoguns.

He said that if driven under 60mph and to the normal standards, the vehicle was perfectly safe.

The County Down crash was the single biggest loss of life in the PSNI's history, and the exact cause of the accident has not yet been established.

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