County police chief crashed while trying to phone husband
Lincolnshire’s Assistant Chief Constable was involved in a head-on collision while trying to make a hands-free call to her husband, a court was told this week.
ACC Kerrin Wilson crashed into an oncoming car as she left work at Lincolnshire Police in December, causing it to swerve off the road, injuring the driver.
Wilson, 51, of Heighington, near Newton Aycliffe, Darlington, was fined £1,460 at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court. She also received seven points on her licence.
The officer, who did not attend the hearing due to “professional commitments”, previously admitted driving without due care and attention.
In a letter read to the court, she said it was a “one-off momentary lapse of judgement” and she was “genuinely remorseful”.
It said she had been trying to find the Bluetooth button on the steering wheel of a new car to call her husband – Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson – when she pulled out of the police headquarters in Deepdale Lane in Nettleham.
The court heard she had been driving at 15mph, and was straddling the lines down the middle of the lane, when she collided with Leanne Storr, who was coming in the opposite direction.
She has since apologised and admitted liability to Ms Storr’s insurance company, the court was told.
Ms Storr was treated for chest pains after her airbag inflated, along with whiplash injuries.
Magistrates also heard the officer had been offered the opportunity to complete a driver improvement course in June but was denied entry after arriving late at the centre.
Following the court hearing ACC Wilson said: “Never having been in an accident at which I was at fault this incident has really shaken me.
“I would like to apologise to the other driver and thank the officers involved in the investigation. It is not easy for them to investigate a senior officer but they have done so with due diligence, respect and professionalism throughout.
If there is any message I can give to other drivers from my experience it is that we need to be fully focussed on driving when we are behind the wheel, and to get familiar with any new car as quickly as possible before driving it”.
Lincolnshire Police said A full investigation was carried out into
the collision and the Crown Prosecution Service decided the matter could proceed by summons for driving without due care and attention.
Ms Wilson accepted from the outset that she was at fault in the collision, the summons and the penalty imposed by the court. As is always the case in these circumstances an internal conduct enquiry will follow.