Death of young dad is ‘hard to ac­cept’

THREE PO­LICE FORCES HELD IN­TER­NAL IN­VES­TI­GA­TIONS AF­TER FA­TAL CRASH

Nottingham Post - - NEWS - By JON PRITCHARD jon.pritchard@reach­plc.com @Jpritchard_­post

THE mother of a man who was killed on the M1 by a pen­sioner driv­ing the wrong way has said his death is “hard to ac­cept”.

Michael Lu­ciw died when a car driven by 87-year-old Al­bert New­man, who had de­men­tia, struck the van he was in on the M1.

Both men died fol­low­ing the crash. An in­quest held on Oc­to­ber 1 and 2 found both men had died as a re­sult of a road traf­fic col­li­sion.

The in­quest heard there are no set na­tional pro­ce­dures in place for po­lice to deal with ve­hi­cles trav­el­ling the wrong way on mo­tor­ways.

War­wick­shire Po­lice failed to re­port Mr New­man, of Rad­ford, was trav­el­ling the wrong way on the M42 and A42 to Le­ices­ter­shire Po­lice be­cause they recorded that he was trav­el­ling away from the Le­ices­ter­shire bor­der. He was, in fact, driv­ing to­wards it.

Le­ices­ter­shire Po­lice said it could have re­sponded more ef­fi­ciently, while a Not­ting­hamshire Po­lice of­fi­cer was dis­missed from the force af­ter he was sent to see Mr New­man to see if he was able to drive, but failed to do so.

The fam­ily of Mr Lu­ciw, of Nottingham, said his daugh­ter, Elise, now three, will have to grow up with­out her father.

His mother, An­drea Shel­ton, said: “The re­al­ity is we lost Michael and his lit­tle girl Elise, who is three now and was just a baby when he died, has never known her daddy. There is no way that Mr New­man should have been be­hind the wheel of a car.”

Vicky Richard­son, of Hudgell Solic­i­tors, rep­re­sented the fam­ily at the in­quest. She said: “What we have here is a tragic case of a young father los­ing his life be­cause there have been nu­mer­ous fail­ings to pre­vent a con­fused, elderly gen­tle­man with de­men­tia from get­ting be­hind the wheel.”

All three po­lice forces said a thor­ough in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion had been car­ried out in light of the fa­tal crash.

A Not­ting­hamshire Po­lice spokesman said: “Since this in­ci­dent a thor­ough in­ter­nal re­view was car­ried out and the force has amended its pol­icy when deal­ing with the pro­ce­dure for seiz­ing un­li­censed and unin­sured ve­hi­cles, and the im­por­tance of read­ing and check­ing po­lice na­tional com­puter de­tails when placed on an in­ci­dent log has been high­lighted to of­fi­cers and staff.

“Our thoughts are with the fam­i­lies of Mr Lu­ciw and Mr New­man at this time.”

As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Ju­lia Deben­ham, of Le­ices­ter­shire Po­lice, said: “Our thoughts are with the fam­i­lies of Mr Lu­ciw and Mr New­man at this time. The mat­ter was ini­tially re­ferred to the IOPC (In­de­pen­dent Of­fice for Po­lice Con­duct) which ad­vised an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion should be con­ducted by the force.

“This was com­pleted by our Pro­fes­sional Stan­dards Depart­ment which de­ter­mined that an In­spec­tor, who was over­see­ing the ini­tial re­sponse to re­ports of a ve­hi­cle driv­ing the wrong way on the M1, should be the sub­ject of man­age­ment ac­tion and was re­quired to un­dergo ad­di­tional train­ing. “

As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Alex Franklin Smith, of War­wick­shire Po­lice, said: “Our thoughts are with the fam­i­lies of Mr New­man and Mr Lu­ciw as they con­tinue to come to terms with their loss.

“This was a very fast in­ci­dent and un­for­tu­nately the call han­dler mis­in­ter­preted the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided. Af­ter a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion, I am sat­is­fied that the call han­dler acted in good faith and the er­ror was com­pounded by a fur­ther re­port re­ceived four min­utes later that af­firmed the in­cor­rect di­rec­tion of travel.”

While the in­quest heard po­lice do not have any set guide­lines for these kind of in­ci­dents, High­ways Eng­land do.

A High­ways Eng­land spokesman said: “Our deep­est sym­pa­thies are with those af­fected by this tragic in­ci­dent.

“Any death on our net­work is one too many and we take our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties very se­ri­ously; we do have pro­ce­dures in place when in­ci­dents like this hap­pen and these were fol­lowed on this oc­ca­sion.

“We will work closely with our col­leagues in the po­lice forces in­volved to as­sist with any ar­eas for im­prove­ment.”

Michael Lu­ciw, pic­tured with his daugh­ter, Elise

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