Officer thought turn was legal after finding no sign at fatal crash

Daily Echo: PC Steve Rawson PC Steve Rawson

A POLICE sergeant investigating a fatal collision next to a Hampshire petrol station told an inquest that he assumed motorists could turn right after finding no sign prohibiting it at the scene.

Sergeant Simon Brooks went to examine the crash between undercover police motorcyclist PC Steve Rawson, pictured, and a silver BMW that was turning right out of the Shell garage on to Thomas Lewis Way.

He told the jury inquest that he knew the area well, having lived in Southampton for almost 30 years and had been "convinced" that  vehicles were not allowed to exit right out of the garage.

However, his viewed changed when he went to the scene on the day of the crash and discovered there were no road signs telling drivers that turning right was not allowed.

It wasn’t until further investigation that he found that a road traffic regulation was in place prohibiting such a manoeuvre out of the petrol station.

He said: “It is only since the issue of my report that I have been made aware by my senior investigating officer and feedback from the council that actually there was a regulation in order that meant that junction should have been signed.”

As previously reported, 40-year-old PC Rawson was killed in the collision on April 3 last year, as he travelled at speeds of up to 100mph during an undercover police surveillance operation.

The driver of the silver BMW, Michal Pliszczynski, said he was turning right out of the Shell garage, having pulled in to get petrol and finding it closed.

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