TVP investigated over action taken before fatal collision

Thames Valley Police (TVP) is being investigated over its response to concerns raised regarding a driver’s ability five days before he was involved in a fatal collision. 

Dec 7, 2018
By Neil Root

On Wednesday (December 5), the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) announced it had launched an inquiry into an incident on the M40 in south Oxfordshire on October 15 this year, which resulted in the deaths of John Norton, Olive Howard and Stuart Richards. 

Five days earlier on October 10, TVP received a report of a damage only collision in High Wycombe in which a Subaru hit a parked car. The parked car’s owner was sitting in his vehicle at the time and alerted the Subaru driver to the incident.

Both drivers exchanged details and the owner of the parked car reported the incident to the police via a 999 call, during which he was advised to submit a report online, which he did the same day. In the report he raised concerns over the Subaru driver’s fitness to drive and the subsequent safety of other road users.

The IOPC said it “believed that the driver of the Subaru on October 10 was Mr Norton”, one of the three people who died in the fatal collision five days later.

The investigation is “examining the actions taken by TVP following the concerns raised and whether these actions were in accordance with local and national policies and procedures”.

IOPC Regional Director Sarah Green said: “Clearly the events on the M40 motorway are terribly tragic and the families of those who died and all of those affected have my deepest sympathies.

“We are examining whether the response from Thames Valley Police adhered to relevant guidelines and policies when concerns were raised over the driver’s abilities five days ahead of the fatal collision.

“We are also looking to see whether there are any areas for potential amendments to policies and practices which may assist in reducing the likelihood of something this devastating occurring again.” 

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