Police officer cleared of any blame for tragic Bartley Green crash

Driver was unaware he was being pursued before accident that killed young mum, Sophie

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With a young, unqualified driver already serving a jail sentence, an independent investigation into a fatal collision in Bartley Green last year has cleared a police officer of any blame in relation to the accident.

Mother of three, Sophie Case, 21, was sadly killed when the car she was a passenger in collided with concrete bollards and a parked van in Adams Hill in the early hours of Sunday 26th November 2016.

Failed to stop

Unqualified driver Liam Ellis was one and a half times over the legal alcohol limit when a single officer in an unmarked police car spotted him driving the wrong way around a roundabout. The officer activated blue lights to get him to stop but when Ellis failed to do so, the officer contacted force control room for authorisation to pursue, which was given.

During the pursuit, Ellis was reaching speeds over 80 miles an hour in a 30 mile an hour limit.

Driver not aware he was being pursued

However, when interviewed by police, Ellis said that he was not aware that the police car was behind him and the MG Rover was found to have defects including mismatched rim and tyre sizes. Ellis had never taken a driving test and was over the legal alcohol limit.

Ellis admitted causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and driving while disqualified and was jailed for six years and eight months in December.

“Tragic”

IPCC Commissioner Derrick Campbell said: “Our thoughts are with Sophie’s family and friends, and everyone else affected by this tragic incident. Liam Ellis admitted culpability for her death and subsequently lost his liberty.

“After studying in-car data and footage, airwave transmissions and obtaining the account of the officer involved, we concluded that the pursuit had been correctly authorised and was in accordance with force procedures. No evidence arose from our enquiries to indicate wrongdoing on the part of police.”

Our thoughts remain with Sophie’s family and all affected by this tragic accident. RIP Sophie.

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