'We are sick of seeing the carnage' - Police chief's plea as road death toll rises
MATT MALLETT JRM PHOTOGRAPHY
The harrowing consequences of poor driving have been laid bare by a police chief who says he is sick of seeing the carnage it causes.
Sergeant Colin Shead, of Essex Police, has warned of the devastation serious and fatal crashes have on families amid a rising death toll on the county’s roads.
How many die in future depends on each and every one of us, he added, as he urged people to report bad driving as soon as they spot it.
“My officers and I are sick of listening to the screams when we knock on doors and seeing the carnage,” said the roads policing sergeant, who leads a team of frontline officers in north Essex.
“Between April and October 32 people were killed on the roads of Essex. During the same period last year, it was 27.
“The sad fact is that between November and April 2019 others will be killed.”
The power to do something about it is in motorists’ hands, he added.
“If you know someone whose standard of driving is poor or unacceptable tell them.
“If you think they should no longer be driving due to infirmity, tell us. If they are drink or drug driving, tell Essex Crimestoppers or call 999 if they are driving now.
“And if you call someone and they are not hands free, hang up.”
Driving offences mentioned above make up the ‘fatal four’ targeted by police forces nationwide.
These are speeding, using mobile phones at the wheel, not wearing a seatbelt and driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
More than 200 people have been arrested in connection with Essex Police’s summer crackdown on drink and drug driving so far this year. Government figures suggest 46 people died on Essex roads in 2017, and 881 were seriously injured.
Most recent data for 2018, calculated from June 2017 to June 2018, suggests 33 people were killed in that 12-month period.
Meanwhile, 857 were seriously hurt in this time frame.
Police figures reveal the total number of people killed or seriously injured fell from 575 to 545 between April to October 2018, down 5%, compared with the same period in 2017.
Victims of fatal Essex crashes named
• Grandmother-of-four Saria Siggers is among those who died in that period.
The 44-year-old was killed in a crash on a country road near Maldon on August 30.
• Robbie Trundley, 20, died in a three-vehicle crash on the A12 near Coggeshall on September 18.
Two weeks later, 24-year-old motorbike enthusiast Liam Holding died on the A12 near the Colchester United Football Ground following a crash involving a bike and a lorry.
• David Jones, from Southminster, died in a crash at Blue Mills Hill in Wickham Bishops on Wednesday, October 10.
Two people have been charged in connection with the collision.
Marcus Wood, 21, of The Street, Terling, was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, escaping lawful custody, and perverting the course of justice.
He will next appear in court on November 26.
George Janman, 18, of Bramble Road in Witham was charged with possessing cannabis, theft of a mobile phone and failing to give information relating to the identification of the driver of a vehicle when required.
He is due to appear before Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on December 18.
• A man in his 50s involved in a crash on the M11 near Stansted Airport on October 31 died at the scene of the collision.
A 38-year-old man from Ipswich was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, as well as driving while unfit through drink or drugs, in connection with the crash.
He was released under investigation on November 2.