Devon and Cornwall Police make out-of-court settlement nearly five years after Sticklepath ‘Stones’ incident

Bruce Clarke, pictured a month after the crash in 2012. Picture: Andy KeebleBruce Clarke, pictured a month after the crash in 2012. Picture: Andy Keeble

A Barnstaple motorist has been awarded a £100,000 pay-out – nearly five years after nearly losing his life in a collision with a police car.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing Bruce Clarke’s car ‘flip through the air’ in the crash at the Sticklepath ‘Stones’ roundabout in March 2012.
Mr Clarke, now 64, was left hanging by his seat beat for an hour-and-a-half as rescuers battled to free him from his overturned Renault Grand Scenic.

He said it was a miracle he survived the accident with the unmarked response car attending an emergency call.

And while he didn’t blame police, said he had been left financially crippled and emotionally scarred by the incident.

He left his job at Boots due to post-traumatic stress brought on by the incident and had to pay out for a new car and extensive dental work.

This week, Mr Clarke told the Gazette he hoped an out-of-court settlement with Devon and Cornwall Police would finally help him to move on.

“My life was turned upside down but hopefully this will give me some sort of closure,” he said.

“I’m still on tablets for PTSD and can’t remember how to use a computer or how to cook.

“I’m taking things one day at a time but hopefully I can gradually get my life back on track now. I’m planning to invest the money so I can have a decent retirement.”

Lawyers acting on behalf of Mr Clarke said Devon and Cornwall Police had admitted liability for the accident.

Mark Hill, senior personal injury solicitor at Resolution Law, said: “This was a serious accident which had a profound physical and psychological impact on our client.

“We are therefore delighted with the settlement reached with Devon and Cornwall Police, which will help Mr Clarke move on with his life.”

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “A private settlement was reached out-of-court between the two parties.

“We will not be commenting on this matter further.”