Police car driving Countess of Wessex hits a mother's car and drives off leaving her with a hefty repair bill
A woman has claimed that a police 4x4 which was driving the Countess of Wessex, Sophie Wessex, crashed into her car and then drove off immediately because it was not allowed to stop, leaving her with a huge repair bill.
Gill Walker shared that she was switching lanes in the Birmingham city center when the police 4x4 rammed her car. Walker who works as a receptionist claimed that she had stopped and pulled over and indicated that the driver does the same so that they could exchange insurance details. However, the police vehicle "drove off."
As reported by Birmingham Live, she revealed how a second 4x4 which was flashing blue lights, pulled up next to her Peugeot 107 and the police shared that a Royal Family member was in the other vehicle.
The officers shared that the vehicle was not allowed to stop as it was carrying a Royal. The accident occurred on November 13, last year, as Sophie was visiting Birmingham in order to help open a military and civilian wound research center. According to the Court Circular, Sophie was the only royal family member who was on official business in Birmingham that same day.
Walker added that she is currently locked in an insurance battle about the bump which took place on Bristol Road. A spokesperson for the West Midlands Police revealed that the force's insurers had been involved in talks with regards to the collision. Walker shared that she had managed to exchange insurance details with officers who were in the second 4x4 and also had dashcam footage of the moment.
Walker revealed, "I’d indicated and moved over into the middle lane. On my dashcam you see the 4x4 in the right-hand lane, see its wheels turn and they’ve caught me from the back end of my bumper. They stopped and I wound down my window and indicated for them to pull over. But as I pulled over, the 4x4 just drove off. Then another 4x4 with police blue lights pulled over and I shouted ‘He’s driven off!’ They said ‘No, they’re with us. Can you go round the corner?"
"There’s a Royal on board, they’re not allowed to stop," the officer in the second vehicle told her. Walker added, "I asked ‘Who’s on board?’ but he said ‘I’m not obliged to say'. They took pictures of my car and said it was a police matter now." Walker was kept waiting at scene for around two hours as traffic cops were sent over and was also warned that she may need to take a breathalyzer test.
While the incident left her rattled, she felt all the more disappointed when insurance company Tesco reached out to the West Midlands Police and the authorities blamed her for the collision. Walker said, "The police are saying it’s all my fault. But the dashcam footage shows I’ve clearly got into the lane and they have hit me. It’s like they’ve put all the blame on me and they’ve got solicitors involved. It looks like it’s going to court because the police don’t want to know."
A spokesman for the West Midlands Police confirmed that one of its vehicles "was involved in a collision with a third party vehicle during a police operation, resulting in damage to both vehicles as they traveled along a three-lane carriageway. Due to operational reasons and force protocol, the vehicle did not stop, but another vehicle in convoy behind the damaged car did stop, and details were exchanged with the third party for insurance purposes. A report has been completed by the driver, a police sergeant, and is with the force’s insurers for assessment."
A royal spokesman said the issue was 'a matter for the police'. The incident happened two months before the Duke of Edinburgh, Sophie's father-in-law, was involved in his own crash. In January, this year, Prince Philip was involved in a car crash near Sandringham in Norfolk. Philip got trapped in his Land Rover that overturned after colliding with a Kia which was carrying two women and a baby.
While the royal was not hurt in the incident, the two women had to be treated in hospital before being discharged. The baby miraculously escaped unharmed. The victims later complained that they had not received any apology from the royal. The Buckingham Palace confirmed that Prince Philip had given up his license after the incident.