Berkshire

Women died in crash in Calcot with Road Wars PC

PC Darren Staley Image copyright Sky
Image caption PC Darren "Daz" Staley starred in Sky TV series Road Wars

Two elderly women died of traumatic chest injuries when their car was hit by an unmarked police car on a 999 call, an inquest has concluded.

Anne Valley, 87, and Gwyneth DeCamps, 88, both suffered "unsurvivable" injuries in the crash on the A4 in Reading on 23 January 2018.

The officer involved had lights and sirens activated, the inquest heard.

PC Darren Staley, who starred in Sky TV's Road Wars, said Mrs Valley's car "seemed to come out of nowhere".

The dog handler, who had 12 years of advanced driver experience at the time, said: "All I can remember is holding on to the steering wheel, applying the brakes and just hoping I was going to stop, I didn't have time to do anything else."

Image caption Police closed the road for several hours following the crash on 23 January 2018

Analysis of his vehicle's incident data recorder revealed PC Staley was driving his Mitsubishi Outlander 4x4 at 70mph when he crashed into Mrs Valley's Nissan Micra as it emerged from the entrance to Calcot Park Golf Club, the jury-led inquest heard.

Realising he had not been injured and his dog was unharmed, PC Staley, known on the show as PC "Daz" Staley, said he managed to get into the women's car and comfort them until paramedics arrived.

The Thames Valley Police officer said he had been answering to an immediate response incident in which a police car had been rammed before the offenders had fled on foot.

He explained: "It was an immediate response job, the vehicle had been rammed, that required me to be on blue lights."

An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) in June 2018 cleared PC Staley of any misconduct.

The police watchdog said he had followed force policies and procedures.

Shortly before the jury returned their conclusions, Mrs DeCamps daughter, Joy Heaton, told the hearing how the two women "lived full and active lives, regardless of their years".

She added: "I wish Ann and my mother to be remembered as two retired, professional ladies who enjoyed every aspect of life, frequently in each others' company."

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