A police officer who crashed his patrol car at 108MPH after clipping the kerb while chasing a stolen Audi walked away unhurt and even CYCLED home afterwards, a court heard today.
PC Mark Milton, 46, careered over a grass verge with such force his front tyre was “shredded” when he lost control during a high-speed chase on October 26, 2011.
Milton, an advanced driver with West Mercia Police, was pursuing a suspected car thief who had pinched an Audi and was speeding along the A442 through the village of Cold Hatton, Shrops., when the crash happened at 10.33pm.
The BMW 5 Series patrol car’s black box recorded Milton reached a staggering 108mph in a 40mph zone before he smashed into the central reservation at 92mph.
Milton, who incredibly walked away from the wreckage unharmed and even cycled home after his shift finished, was charged with dangerous driving.
Prosecutor Pat Sullivan told Worcester Crown Court Milton claimed he was attempting to catch up with a suspected stolen Audi when he crashed.
He said: “It was about 10.47 in the evening that Pc Milton made a radio call to his supervisor Sergeant Edward Bates.
“He explained that he was on the A442 and there had been a collision involving only his vehicle.
“He explained he had hit a kerb and that the police vehicle was damaged.
“He asked the officer to attend and he did. Both officers walked down the road to where the collision had taken place.
“PC Mark Milton explained he had been chasing a car that he believed may have been a stolen Audi.
“He said he was driving between 90mph and 100mph.
“They came to a central island that separates each carriageway in the road. It was obvious that’s where the collision had taken place.
“There was consistent tyre marks that suggested the front end of PC Mark Milton’s car had gone over part of that central reservation.
“Where the collision had taken place, the speed limit was 40mph. Therefore an investigation into what had happened began within the police.
“There are no eyewitnesses. The evidence that brings this case to court is taken from the ‘brain’ of the BMW.
“What that does is records a snapshot of the driving of the vehicle prior to an event such as a collision.
“Throughout the whole of that piece of driving in Cold Hatton, it concluded that the maximum speed obtained by PC Mark Milton as he drove along that piece of road after the 40mph zone was 108mph.
“That the collision with the traffic splitting island, that the speed the vehicle was 92mph and that the average speed was between 98mph and 99mph.”
Mr Sullivan told the jury: “It’s your task to decide whether you’re sure driving at that kind of grossly excessive speed amounts to dangerous driving.
“Not speeding, but dangerous driving, something much worse than that.”
The court heard as well as the shredded front near side tyre, the BMW also had a snapped front suspension rod.
Mr Sullivan added: “The damage was consistent with there being a collision.
“The prosecution case is this was well well below the standard of a competent driver and it was dangerous for this reason.”
The court heard PC Milton was travelling so fast his patrol car was sent hurtling a staggering 727 metres (2,385ft) along the road before coming to a stop.
Witness PC Ian Edwards, a collision investigator with West Mercia Police, told the jury tyre marks showed that the BMW went onto a grass verge on the wrong side of the road.
He said: “I was able to tell the vehicle had travelled 727 metres prior to coming to a stop.
“There was about 26 metres before it goes onto the grass verge.
“It then travels along the grass verge and then comes back onto the road where it continues for some distance.
“I was able to go back 26.5 seconds prior to the impact.
“The record starts just before the BMW enters the 40mph speed limit.
“By the time the BMW returns to the carriageway (after travelling along the grass verge) it’s travelling at 68mph.”
The court heard Incident Data Recorder’s (IDR) are fitted to all patrol cars and only start recording when the computer becomes concerned about the vehicle’s activity.
Milton, of Market Drayton, Shrops., denies dangerous driving.
The case continues.
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