Police cleared of drink driver’s death

John McKeown, who was killed in a car crash in Stamford on Saturday, August 22.
John McKeown, who was killed in a car crash in Stamford on Saturday, August 22.

An official police enquiry has cleared officers of the death of a drink driver.

John McKeown, 62, died when his blue Nissan Micra crashed into a low stone wall on Wharf Road, in Stamford.

Mr McKeown had been spoken to on Broad Street by PCs Deborah Bowen and Jon Milne prior to the accident in the early hours of Saturday, August 22, 2015.

They asked him to turn down the music in his car and he complied with the request.

He then drove off and was followed through the town by the police officers.

The officers saw that Mr McKeown was not wearing his seatbelt and so followed him with the patrol car’s blue lights and headlights flashing.

Mr McKeown stopped for a red light on St Paul’s Street but pulled away again when PC Milne approached the Micra.

After a short journey through Stamford he turned onto Wharf Road where he speeded up and lost control before crashing into the wall.

He was taken to Peterborough City Hospital where he died at 3.54am.

At the time of his death Mr McKeown was nearly three times the drink drive limit and he was not wearing a seatbelt.

He suffered severe injuries to the top half of his body.

An inquest in Stamford returned a narrative verdict and did not blame the officers.

Following a referral from Lincolnshire Police the Independent Police Complaints Commission has also cleared PCs Bowen and Milne.

The IPCC report concluded that there was no casual link between Mr McKeown’s death and the officer’s actions during the incident.

The report stated that the police officer’s contact with Mr McKeown was minimal and did not contribute to his death.

It found no misconduct in the actions of the police on the night.

It added that there was no reason for the officers to suspect that Mr McKeown was drink driving.

Steve Martin, IPCC operations manager, said: “I would like to again extend our condolences to Mr McKeown’s family for their sad loss.

“Our investigation found no fault on the part of the police who attempted to stop him in his car during the normal course of their duties.

“For reasons we will never know he did not comply with their request to stop and ultimately there were tragic consequences.”