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Police officer being investigated after woman, 81, dies in Sophie escort crash

The police constable is being investigated for causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving.


A Metropolitan Police motorcyclist could face criminal charges over the death of an 81-year-old woman who was killed in a collision with the officer’s vehicle last month while part of an escort for the Duchess of Edinburgh.

Helen Holland, 81, was struck at the junction of West Cromwell Road and Warwick Road in Earl’s Court, west London, on the afternoon of May 10. She suffered serious injuries and died two weeks later.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the constable has been told they are under criminal investigation for the offences of causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving.

They are also being investigated for potential gross misconduct, although it does not mean that charges or disciplinary proceedings will follow.

IOPC director Amanda Rowe said: “Our thoughts remain with Ms Holland’s family, friends and everyone affected by her death. This is a tragic incident and it is important that we carry out a thorough, independent investigation to establish the full circumstances, which will include the actions and decision making of the officer under investigation.

“We have been in regular contact with Ms Holland’s family and we will keep them updated as our investigation progresses.

“At the end of our investigation, we will decide whether to refer the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision and whether the officer should face disciplinary proceedings.”

Investigators attended the scene and police body worn video footage has has been reviewed.

Witness accounts have also been taken following an appeal after the crash.

Following the crash, Ms Holland’s son Martin told the BBC she died after sustaining “multiple broken bones and massive internal injuries”.

He said she was using the “safe route of (a) pedestrian crossing” when she was struck by the motorcycle.

After her death was announced, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The Duchess of Edinburgh is deeply saddened to hear that Helen Holland has passed away.

“Her Royal Highness’s deepest condolences and sympathies go to all of Ms Holland’s family.”

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