Police car in death crash 'was travelling at 60 mph'

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The Independent Online
THE DRIVER of a police Range Rover which hit and killed a student as he crossed a road told an inquest jury yesterday that he estimated his speed at about 60mph.

Biniam Aran, 27, died after being struck by the vehicle, which was part of a convoy on its way to arrest a suspected hired killer in south London last February.

The inquest at Southwark Coroner's Court has been told by Mr Aran's stepbrother, Amanuel Fasil, who lived with him in Meadow Road, Lambeth, south London, that the vehicle was going at 80-100mph.

PC Nigel Lloyd said he and two other police vehicles were on the way to Wimbledon to arrest a man believed to have a shotgun for a murder on the night of the incident on Clapham Road, Lambeth.

All three vehicles had two-tone horns and flashing lights which were on all the time. He did not look at his speedometer but he estimated his speed at about 60mph, which was not unusual when answering an emergency call.

He saw three people standing on or near the crossing. One started to walk away but the other two were looking in his direction although there was no indication that they were going to use the crossing. As he got nearer the two men suddenly walked on to the crossing and he braked firmly, whereupon they broke into a 'casual trot' on to the traffic island in the middle of the road. All the time he was flashing his headlights at them.

The other man was on the pavement looking at him when 'quite suddenly without warning he appeared to lean forward and run into the road'.

He heard a thud, realised he had hit the man and stopped further down the road. He denied leaving the scene of the incident.

'I have been a police constable long enough to know it would be no good. There was a new inspector in the back of the Range Rover who did not know me from Adam. Do you think he would let me drive off after I had knocked down a bloke?' he added.

The jury is expected to return a verdict today.