Police car 'came out of nowhere' in fatal pedestrian crossing collision

A police car "came out of nowhere" when it hit a pensioner on a pedestrian crossing, leaving him dead, a witness has told an inquest.

Leslie Bingham, 73, died from multiple injuries when he was in collision with a marked patrol car as he crossed the A61 Penistone Road, in Sheffield, on January 7, last year.

The retired metal worker was heading for a family gathering at the Owlerton greyhound stadium, on the other side of the road, when the incident happened, the hearing in Sheffield heard.

Senior coroner Chris Dorries told a jury of seven women and two men that it was agreed that the patrol car was not on an emergency call at the time of the crash.

Witness Daniel Roberts told a coroner that he was in a taxi waiting at traffic lights approaching the stadium when he saw Mr Bingham crossing the road to his left.

Mr Roberts said: "I saw him look to his right.

"There was a realisation on his face there was some form of vehicle coming towards him."

He said Mr Bingham started to walk faster just before he was hit by the vehicle.

"The police car came out of nowhere and, obviously, collided with the gentleman," Mr Roberts said.

He told Mr Dorries: "There were no blue lights or sirens."

Other people in the taxi that evening agreed with Mr Roberts that the police car did not appear to be travelling at high speed just before the collision.

Asked about the car's speed, Lauren Eades said: "It seemed normal. It didn't appear to be speeding or going too slow."

Ms Eades said in a statement read to her in court, that she noticed the traffic lights on the crossing were on green immediately after the collision.

She said she had been about 12ft away from the incident.

Another passenger in the taxi, Lauren Waite, said in her statement: "The traffic lights on Penistone Road the police car went through were on green."

She said: "I think the man had tried to chance crossing."

In his statement also read to the court, pathologist Charlie Wilson said that widower Mr Bingham, who was pronounced dead at the scene, died from multiple injuries which included fractures to his skull, damage to his spinal column and a lacerated aorta.

Dr Wilson said a post-mortem examination found that Mr Bingham, who lived in the Malin Bridge area of Sheffield, had heart disease but he said the injuries were so severe that they would have been fatal even if he had been a fit, young person.

The inquest is due to finish next week.