Police officer died in crash after oncoming car skidded on icy road, inquest told

Det Con Karen Paterson who died in a crash on January 6
Det Con Karen Paterson who died in a crash on January 6
Have your say

An off-duty police officer was killed in a head-on smash when an oncoming car skidded out of control on an untreated icy road.

Det Con Karen Paterson. 43, of Hamilton Close, Bourne, was on her way to work in Peterborough when supermarket worker Lee Fuller lost control of her silver Vauxhall Corsa, an inquest in Spalding was told on Friday.

The crash happened in darkness in King Street, Tallington, a popular cut-though between the A15 and A16, at 7.39am on Friday, January 6.

The Corsa crossed to Mrs Paterson’s side of the road and Ms Fuller told the inquest she didn’t see the police officer’s Rover while trying to bring her own vehicle under control.

The inquest heard King Street may have its own “micro-climate” through being so close to Tallington Lakes and be icy when other roads in the district are not.

South Lincolnshire Coroner Prof Robert Forrest asked accident investigators from Lincolnshire Police to raise issues including ice warning signs and gritting with the county council. King Street is not currently on the county council’s gritting programme.

Van driver Martin Knox was following Mrs Paterson and got out to help, but immediately slipped and fell on the icy road.

Mr Knox, of Fulbridge, Peterborough, was driving home that morning and didn’t see ice until he got to Tallington level crossing.

Ms Fuller, of Barholm Road, Tallington Lakes, was in tears as she described how her car skidded as she was travelling at about 40-50mph.

She said she thought she was going to die when she lost control of the car, but had not seen Mrs Paterson’s car at that point.

Ms Fuller, who was on her way to work at Sainsbury’s in Bourne, said: “I just could not get it back and then obviously it was too late then.”

Prof Forrest recorded a verdict of accidental death.

He said Mrs Paterson suffered “rapidly fatal injuries” and it was likely she was unconscious straight away.