'Met Van That Almost Killed Me Had Siren Switched off'; Police Defend Policy after Late-Night Collision Leaves Man on Life-Support for Five Days

By Corcoran, Jason | The Evening Standard (London, England), February 28, 2001 | Go to article overview

'Met Van That Almost Killed Me Had Siren Switched off'; Police Defend Policy after Late-Night Collision Leaves Man on Life-Support for Five Days


Corcoran, Jason, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: JASON CORCORAN

A MAN had to have his spleen removed and suffered six broken ribs, a broken arm and a head injury after a police van ploughed into him while its emergency siren was switched off.

The accident, which left Mark Broomhall on a life-support machine for five days, is the latest in a series of incidents in which pedestrians in London have been knocked over by speeding police cars.

Mr Broomhall, 34, was enjoying a night out with friends on the Kings Road when the accident took place shortly after midnight on 4 February, at the junction of Black Terrace.

He was thrown several feet into the air after smashing into the windscreen of the marked Vauxhall Astra police dog van which was answering an emergency call.

Mr Broomhall and his partner, Stephen West, 43, were returning to a friend's flat after a birthday party held at Chelsea's English Garden restaurant.

Ironically, Mr Broomhall's friends in the area had previously complained about the noise of police sirens keeping them awake at night.

Mr Broomhall, a former care assistant from Erith in Kent, who suffers from epilepsy, was released on Monday from Kensington and Chelsea Hospital.

The police van driver from the South West Dogs Section was travelling to investigate suspects on Regent Street. He was unhurt in the crash and helped to provide first aid to the victim.

Mr Broomhall, who will be on antibiotics for the rest of his life, is now taking legal advice over the incident. He disputes police claims that he walked out from among a row of parked cars and claims the van was going around 35 to 40mph when he was hit.

He said: "I crossed the road diagonally and I don't remember seeing any parked cars. I am just trying to piece my life back together and piece together what happened that night."

Mr Broomhall says he had about four glasses of wine over a period of five hours and insists he was not drunk at the time. …

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