Police must take care on 999 calls after death

The police car was driving at a high speed with no siren activated.

Armsden (the executor of the estate of Rachel Cheesewright deceased) v Kent Police (Court of Appeal" 26 June 2009)

This case involved a fatal road traffic accident, in which Rachel Cheesewright was killed after exiting a minor road into the path of a police vehicle, which was proceeding on an emergency call.

Kent Police appealed the decision of HHJ Simpkiss as he held the police wholly at fault given the speed of the police vehicle, and the officer's failure to activate the siren.

It was accepted by the Court of Appeal that the police vehicle was driven by a highly qualified and experienced driver who was proceeding on an immediate response call.

The appeal was allowed, with the court finding Rachel Cheesewright negligent for failing to look right before exiting the minor road. However, the Court of Appeal were satisfied that the speed of the police vehicle without the siren sounding contributed to the cause of the accident.

Liability was therefore apportioned 60/40 in favour of Kent Police.

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