Tributes pour in for tragic policewoman

Reports by Richard SmithTRIBUTES poured in last night for the policewoman who died when the patrol car she was driving collided with a parked lorry while she was on an emergency call.

Reports by Richard Smith

TRIBUTES poured in last night for the policewoman who died when the patrol car she was driving collided with a parked lorry while she was on an emergency call.

The marked police car had its blue lights flashing and siren sounding when it collided with the lorry in West End Road, Ipswich, on Saturday night.

The driver, Pc Cheryl Lloyd, 42, from Ipswich, died at the scene. Her passenger, who has not been named, was taken to Ipswich Hospital and then transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, for treatment to a head injury. He was in a "critical, but stable condition" last night.

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Suffolk police immediately launched a "full and thorough" investigation into the accident, which the lorry driver, Michael Greenway, 50, from Banbury, Oxfordshire, escaped from uninjured.

Friends and colleagues arrived throughout the day at the accident scene to lay flowers in memory of Pc Lloyd, who had been with Suffolk police for six years and was based in Ipswich. Family liaison officers have also been comforting Pc Lloyd's next of kin.

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Suffolk Chief Constable Alastair McWhirter led the tributes to Pc Lloyd last night and praised her as an outstanding officer.

"This is a tragic loss of life and my thoughts and deepest sympathies go to Cheryl's family, friends and loved ones," he said.

"Cheryl was an outstanding credit to the Suffolk Constabulary. She was an extremely brave officer and was due to receive a Chief Constable's commendation for helping to pull a man from the River Orwell and helping to resuscitate him last August."

Mr McWhirter added: "She cared for her officers and was a tutored constable responsible for tutoring many officers. Before joining the constabulary Cheryl also served as a special constable in Felixstowe.

"She was a highly skilled police officer that will be sorely missed by her many friends and colleagues within the force. My thoughts are also with the friends and family of the other officer involved in this tragic incident."

Pc Lloyd used to be a health club manager with the Gym and Trim fitness centre in Ipswich, but took a career change six years ago and joined Suffolk Constabulary.

A former pupil of Deben High School in Felixstowe, she lived in Dains Place, Trimley St Mary, before moving to Ipswich.

Jacky Palmer, of Dains Place, said: "This is absolutely dreadful news. She was a lovely lady, ever so nice, and she used to work in the fish and chip shop at the Ordnance in Felixstowe.

"She was a very keen gardener, a fitness fanatic and she enjoyed running and going down to the gym."

Pc Lloyd had been promoted to acting sergeant at Ipswich police station, although on Saturday night she was working as a police constable on an investigation when the fatal accident happened.

Mike Nunn, a Suffolk police spokesman, said: "The collision occurred at approximately 8pm on West End Road and involved a marked Ford Mondeo police vehicle and a parked lorry.

"Although details are still sketchy, it is believed that the police vehicle was involved in an investigation into a car suspected of being involved in criminal activity.

"At the time of the collision the vehicle was travelling under blue lights and sirens, but was not involved in a pursuit or follow."

Chief Superintendent Mark Cordell, of Suffolk police, added: "This is a tragic incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of both officers involved.

"As is standard procedure, we have voluntarily notified the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The matter will now be subject to a full and thorough investigation."

But a spokesman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission said it was unlikely to be involved in the investigation. "We were notified of the incident last night, but are unlikely to get involved because no member of the public was involved," he added.

Two fire engines from Princes Street, Ipswich, and one crew from the headquarters in Colchester Road, also Ipswich, were called to the accident to release the trapped police officers using cutting gear.

A Suffolk Fire Service spokeswoman said: "We have been told to refer inquiries to the police and not to comment further."

Two ambulances, one ambulance officer and a medic from the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service also attended.

A spokesman for the East Anglian Ambulance Trust said: "One person was confirmed deceased and another was transported to Ipswich Hospital. That person had initially been trapped and had suffered a head injury."

Anyone with information about the accident should contact Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

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