Woman in insurance battle over royal vehicle ‘hit and run’
A motorist has said she is involved in a royal legal tussle after a car allegedly carrying the Countess of Wessex crashed into hers and then drove off.
Gill Walker is disputing her liability over the collision in central Birmingham last November, which happened when she changed lanes and was struck by a 4×4 police vehicle being driven by a sergeant and apparently with Sophie as a passenger.
According to the Birmingham Mail, Ms Walker, 59, pulled over to swap insurance details but the other vehicle failed to stop.
A second 4×4 then pulled up alongside her Peugeot 107, and officers told her that the other vehicle was not allowed to stop because there was a “royal on board”.
A West Midlands Police spokesman said the vehicle did not stop “due to operational reasons and force protocol”, but confirmed the second vehicle in the convoy stopped so details could be exchanged.
Ms Walker said police are now denying liability.
She told the newspaper: “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.
“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.”
The countess was in Birmingham to open the first military and civilian wound research centre of its kind at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
A police statement said: “A West Midlands Police vehicle was involved in a collision with a third-party vehicle during a police operation, resulting in damage to both vehicles as they travelled 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.
Philip apologised for his part in an accident on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk in January when his Land Rover Freelander collided with another car carrying a baby, leaving two women needing hospital treatment.
It was subsequently announced he would face no further action after the 97-=year=-old duke voluntarily surrendered his driving licence.
Buckingham Palace has been approached for a comment.