Police driver who hit gran on mobility scooter while responding to 999 call wasn't to blame for her death

Jessie Whitehead died after driving her mobility scooter into the path of a police car responding to an emergency call. (Picture: SWNS)

A police officer who hit a grandmother as she crossed the road on her mobility scooter while responding to a 999 call was not to blame for her death, an inquest has ruled.

Jessie Whitehead, 74, was hit by the patrol car as it responded to a 999 call in Bedworth, Warwickshire in January 2019.

An inquest ruled that the police driver was not to blame because Mrs Whitehead failed to hear her friend desperately warning her not to cross the road.

The inquest also heard that the 74-year-old had taken therapeutic Ketamine to relax her.

Jessie Whitehead didn't hear her friend's warnings as she crossed the road on her mobility scooter. (Picture: SWNS)

Mrs Whitehead, who had suffered from polio as a child, was crossing the road on her scooter with friend Tony Vaughan, who was also on a scooter.

The inquest heard that he had tried to warn her not to cross the road but she didn’t hear him.

Witnesses told the five-day inquest how they watched in horror as the police car hit her at 50mph, sending her flying into the air.

Officers stopped at the scene to give first aid and the pensioner was taken to hospital by air ambulance but died shortly after the crash.

Forensic pathologist Alexander Kolar told the inquest that Mrs Whitehead died as a result of massive head injuries, probably caused by her head hitting the ground. He said therapeutic levels of Ketamine were found in her body.

The inquest jury ruled death by misadventure, saying Mrs Whitehead had entered the carriageway of her own volition and hadn't heeded her friend's warnings. (Picture: SWNS)

Returning a verdict of death by misadventure at Warwickshire Coroners Court, the foreman of the inquest jury said: “The deceased entered the carriageway of her own volition solely in control of her scooter.

“She did not respond to her friend’s instruction of ‘No’.

“Several witnesses gave evidence and confirmed that they heard sirens and saw flashing lights from the police car in question.

“The evidence presented suggested that the police driver was driving within the parameters of police guidelines for emergency responses.”