Sussex

Brighton police officer thinks about death crash 'every minute'

Eastern Road Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption PC Harris is alleged to have driven "too fast" before the crash in Brighton

A police officer accused of causing a fatal crash told a disciplinary hearing he thinks about the collision "every minute of every day".

PC Richard Harris was responding to an emergency call in Brighton in August 2017 when he hit 79-year-old pedestrian David Ormesher, who died an hour later.

The serving officer, who denies gross misconduct, is alleged to have been driving "excessively fast".

Recalling the crash, PC Harris said he saw a figure "just getting bigger".

He then thought "I just need to get out of the way," before braking and hearing a "bang," he told the tribunal.

He was driving at between 53 and 55 mph when he hit the pensioner, the panel heard.

It is alleged he had reached speeds of up to 70mph shortly before the crash.

James Berry, representing Sussex Police, said PC Harris was "driving too fast, with insufficient planning for the actions of other road users, and his excessively fast and unsafe driving resulted in him colliding at speed with Mr Ormesher".

PC Harris told the tribunal he believed a woman was being rescued from the sea as he responded to the emergency call.

He said he could not recall hearing a message over police radio that declared the woman had already been pulled from the sea.

"If you had heard that message, that message would not have prompted you to slow down at that time," Mr Berry asked.

"Not at that stage, no," PC Harris replied. "I would still say it's an emergency response."

The hearing continues.

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