THE Southampton driver of a car involved in a crash in which an undercover police motorcyclist died has not driven since, it was revealed at an inquest.
Michal Pliszczynski told the inquest into PC Steve Rawson’s death that he had not felt able to drive a car since the day of the high-speed collision more than a year ago on Thomas Lewis Way in Southampton.
The driver of the silver BMW told Southampton and New Forest coroner Grahame Short that he had been turning right out of the exit of a Shell garage when the incident happened.
Tributes left at the scene of the crash
He had been on his way to work at the Holiday Inn, in Winchester, from his home in Oxford Avenue – a journey he had driven for more than a year – when he stopped at the garage to get some petrol.
Finding the forecourt was closed off by cones, he decided to turn right out of the garage to go to another petrol station in Lodge Road.
He said that he had not turned right out of the garage before but that he had seen at least two people do it before and that there were no signs indicating that he could not.
However, he did admit the road markings on the road meant that they shouldn’t be crossed and during his police interview, when asked if he thought it was a legal manoeuvre, he said: “I think not really but there’s not any signs.”
He said that as he moved to turn right he checked over his shoulder, could not see any vehicles coming, and did not see the motorbike.
Speaking about when he first realised that a crash had happened, Mr Pliszczynski, who suffered several broken ribs and an injury to his back, said: “I opened my eyes and I just didn’t know what was going on. I just saw the roof was cutting off. Then I realised something happened but I didn’t know even from which direction.”
The jury also heard a statement from Danielle Roberts, who was driving along Thomas Lewis Way at the time of the collision on April 3 last year.
In it she said: “Suddenly I was overtaken by a motorcycle which actually made me jump as it came literally speeding past, almost hitting the front of me. I thought to myself ‘there’s an accident waiting to happen’.”
She recalled a conversation with her mother after the incident. She said: “I told her that the motorcycle was riding like an idiot and the bike was probably doing 80mph. The bike just disappeared from sight.”
She added: “I feel awful now I know it was a police bike and that the rider had died.”
Police at the scene of the crash in Thomas Lewis Way, Southampton
Earlier the inquest heard from pathologist Adrian Bateman, who said that the extensive injuries suffered by 40-year-old PC Rawson were consistent with a high-speed impact and that it was a combination of all the injuries, including multiple fractures to his jaw and a head injury, that caused his death.
The inquest continues.