Police officer was speeding before crash

PC Steve Rawson
PC Steve Rawson

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AN INQUEST into the death of a police officer heard he was speeding seconds before a fatal crash.

During the second day of the hearing into PC Steve Rawson’s death, an eye witness claimed the officer was travelling at between 60 and 65mph on Thomas Lewis Way, in Southampton, which has a 40mph speed limit.

Anthony Loveridge was driving behind PC Rawson’s motorbike on April 3 last year when it was involved in a crash with a silver BMW.

Fareham-based PC Rawson, from Bishopstoke, was taken to hospital where he later died.

The jury heard from Mr Loveridge that PC Rawson’s motorbike overtook him.

A few seconds later he and the silver BMW collided outside a petrol station.

Mr Loveridge told the jury and senior coroner Grahame Short that he was driving at between 35mph and 40mph when PC Rawson, who was on-duty and undercover, passed him on his black motorbike.

‘I heard this roar behind me and a motorbike rushed past me,’ said Mr Loveridge.

‘I didn’t even see it in my mirrors. I just heard it.

‘As it passed me, I remember looking down at my speedometer to check my speed.’

After being asked what speed he thought the motorbike was going, Mr Loveridge said: ‘It was travelling in excess of 60mph.’

He added it was only seconds later that he saw the motorbike impact with the BMW being driven by Michal Pliszczynski.

He was seriously injured during the crash.

While giving evidence Mr Loveridge said that although the BMW was straddling the northbound lane, he believed he would have been able to drive behind it on the nearside.

‘It wouldn’t have obstructed me,’ he said.

The inquest, which is being held at Southampton Civic Centre, continues.