Car ploughs into police car during Link Road stop

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- Credit: Archant

A police officer was knocked unconscious and his colleague hurled into the grass verge after a car collided with their vehicle during a routine stop on the North Devon Link Road. 

It happened on Friday, January 8 as the pair from the roads policing unit stopped at 5.42om to assist a driver who had broken down on a stretch of the northbound carriageway near Landkey. 

About 15 minutes later, a Citroën C4 hit the back of the police car, which hit both officers, hurling the sergeant into the verge and leaving a constable unconscious under the police vehicle. 

The Citroën rebounded into the opposite carriageway, colliding with another vehicle, which subsequently then collided with a further motorist. 

The sergeant was able to help move his colleague from under the police vehicle and he was conveyed to North Devon District Hospital for assessment. 

The driver of the Citroën, a 77-year old woman from Bideford, was physically uninjured, but was taken to hospital for observations as a precaution. 

The driver of the broken-down vehicle was arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, and investigations into the circumstances of the accident continue. 

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Police will also be investigating the reasons for both drivers being out during Covid lockdown. 

Chief Superintendent Matt Lawler, head of specialist operations for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “I obviously spoke to both officers shortly afterwards, and am so relieved to say they were not more seriously injured. Both are now at home being supported by their families.  

“This was a truly frightening experience for everyone involved, especially for the officer who regained consciousness whilst still lying underneath his own police vehicle, and I pay tribute to the courage and focus of his sergeant in coming to his aid.   

“This highlights the dangerous role that our roads policing officers undertake every day on our behalf, and it’s obvious to say that this could easily have resulted in fatalities. It is a challenging, complex, and risky task to police our fast roads, and we should all be thankful for the dedication shown by our roads policing officers.” 

The force would like to thank the public for its patience during the road closure that was necessary to investigate the scene and recover several vehicles. 

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