PC hit with fine after ‘horrific’ accident in Warnham

JPCT 280613 RTC - road block - A29 north of Warnham. Photo by Derek  Martin ENGPPP00320130628153223
JPCT 280613 RTC - road block - A29 north of Warnham. Photo by Derek Martin ENGPPP00320130628153223

A police officer appeared in court this week to face charges after a crash at Warnham which left a woman severely injured and still in hospital nearly a year later.

Andrew Crabb, 46, of Stane Street, Ockley, Surrey, pleaded guilty at Horsham Magistrates’ Court on Monday May 19 to driving without due care and attention.

He received five points on his licence and was fined £375, with court costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £37.

The collision took place on the A29 at Warnham on June 28, 2013, and involved a police Ford Transit van being driven by PC Crabb, while he was on duty, and a Ford Fiesta driven by the woman.

The court heard she received ‘severe injuries’ and is still dependent on medical staff almost a year after the accident.

Court chairman Colin Darnell said: “We are aware that this is a tragic accident with horrific consequences for the driver of the Fiesta.

“PC Crabb should have been observing the 50mph limit applicable to the vehicle he was driving.”

Deborah Jeffrey, prosecuting, explained PC Crabb was travelling between 67mph and 72mph when the Ford Fiesta pulled out onto the road from an entrance to Maxwell Farm.

The speed limit for the road is 60mph, but due to the weight of the van PC Crabb was driving, his vehicle was restricted to 50mph.

Ms Jeffrey said: “The driver of the Ford Fiesta suffered severe injuries as a result of the collision. She has been hospitalised since the collision and remains in a high dependency unit in a specialist neuro rehabilitation centre.

“She is totally dependant on the care of the medical staff for all her needs.”

Matthew Butt, defending, said PC Crabb was ‘devastated by his role in the incident’.

He said: “It is something of a mystery what the driver of the Fiesta was doing pulling out of that side of the road.

“The driver of the Fiesta either failed to check oncoming traffic or took a longer than average time to complete the manoeuvre.

“It was an accident that was tragic, unusual and unexpected, but it is a matter of fact that it would be wrong to place all the blame on PC Crabb.”

Mr Butt indicated a driving disqualification could have cost PC Crabb his job.

He added: “He (PC Crabb) has an exceptional police track record and he will keep his job providing he is not disqualified.”

PC Crabb has three points on his licence from a speeding offence in December 2011.

In January, PC Crabb had pleaded not guilty at Crawley Magistrates’ Court to driving without due care and attention.

The driver of the Ford Fiesta was taken to Kings College Hospital in London with head and internal injuries following the collision.