Driver denied compensation over police smash


Closeup of police car sign with video unit vehicle in background.

A man involved in a road collision with a police car is being denied compensation by Avon and Somerset Constabulary, who claim that he was over the drink-drive limit at the time of the accident.

Bristol man Nathanial Jeremy was struck by the unmarked car, which was overtaking traffic on the way to an emergency call, while turning right onto St Marks road in the Easton area of the city.

He was breathalysed at the scene and provided two specimens, one on and one just below the 35mcg legal limit of breath-alcohol.

Given there was a delay of around one and a half hours between the collision and the breath test being taken, the force is now alleging Mr Jeremy was over the limit when the crash occurred.

Denying liability in a letter to Mr Jeremy's solicitor, the force said: "Both drivers were breathalysed, your client was arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol. Your client provided two specimens of 34mcg and 35mcg. The legal limit is 35mcg.

"There was a time delay of approximately one hour and 30 minutes from when the collision occurred to when the test was taken.

"Had he been taken straight to the station after the accident, it is likely your client would have been either on or above the legal limit.

"Accordingly, and for the reasons above, we look forward to confirmation that your client's claim is withdrawn."

The police also allege Mr Jeremy swerved after being distracted by recognising friends at a roadside pub.

However, he denies the allegations, and has demanded to know why there was no CCTV evidence of the incident. He has forwarded a complaint regarding the way the investigation has been handled to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Speaking to the Bristol Post, My Jeremy said: "I think what they have done is diabolical.

"The investigation seems to have dragged on and still came up short.

"Now I am still struggling to get my car fixed, and am spending time and money on public transport."

"They have not co-operated with my solicitor, and the police report has been requested by my solicitor to be disclosed.

"I have had no apology or remorse from the police who seem to be treating me as though I do not exist and that I do not matter.

Wayne Baker, Avon and Somerset police spokesman, said: "We have had a formal complaint and the matter is being dealt with by our legal team."