Lack of sign on road where PC died in smash

Daily Echo: PC Steve Rawson. PC Steve Rawson.

A HIGH-SPEED smash that killed an undercover police officer came just three months after another motorcycle crashed on the same stretch of road, an inquest heard.

Southampton highways boss John Harvey told the inquest into PC Steve Rawson’s death that there was no sign at the petrol station in Thomas Lewis Way telling motorists not to turn right, at the time of the fatal crash.

And he defended the decision not to install a new sign after the first crash three months earlier, arguing that the road layout was enough to tell drivers they couldn’t exit right out of the garage.

He told the jury the traffic island and hatched markings sufficiently indicated right turns were disallowed.

He also stressed a new sign, which was installed after the crash that killed the 40-year-old, was to further help drivers rather than an acknowledgement of being a dangerous spot.

PC Rawson, 40, from Bishopstoke, died after a silver BMW driven by Michal Pliszcczynski turned right out of the garage on April 3 last year.

The inquest heard how another biker crashed at the same spot on January 10 that same year, but that they were the only incidents there in a decade.

The jury also heard from Hampshire Constabulary’s head of driver training Kevin Fripp, who said PC Rawson was one of the top four officers with advanced qualifications in surveillance driving and had been selected as an examiner himself.

The inquest continues.

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