OFFICERS battled in vain to save the life of a colleague who was thrown from his motorcycle in a high speed crash, an inquest heard this morning.

PC Steve Rawson was working undercover for Hampshire Police when his motorcycle collided with a car on Thomas Lewis Way in Southampton.

The inquest into the death of 40-year-old PC Rawson began this morning with the jury hearing how fellow officers raced to his side to carry out CPR.

But despite their best efforts, the dad-of-two from Bishopstoke arrived at Southampton General Hospital not breathing and in cardiac arrest.

Inspector Richard Parsons, head of the road death investigation team, told the hearing how trauma medics battled for 45 minutes to restart his heart after arriving at the emergency department but nothing could be done to save him.

He also told how officers also went to the aid of the driver of the BMW, Michal Pliszczynski, who had suffered serious injuries, most notably to his back and ribs.

Inspector Parsons also ruled out any question that the driver had been distracted by a missed call on his mobile phone as it was found in his trouser pocket, on silent and had no vibrate function.

He added: "it was highly likely that he was unaware of the missed call."

At the beginning of the hearing, coroner for Southampton and the New Forest, Grahame Short, told the jury of six women and five men that the incident had happened close to the exit of the Shell garage on April 3, last year.

Mr Pliszczynski had turned into the garage to refuel but found that it had been closed and was exiting the petrol station.