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UK police change pursuit law but it's too late for Twomeys

A UK police force has amended their pursuit procedures just days after a plea from an Irish teacher whose family was killed by a suicidal taxi driver.

Devon & Cornwall Police's updating of their official driving and pursuit guidelines followed a long-running and detailed review process.

Devon police sources insisted that the new measures are not directly related to the July 6, 2012, tragedy in Torquay that claimed the lives of Elber Twomey's husband, Con (38), son, Oisin (16 months) and unborn baby girl, Elber Marie.

Mr Twomey died nine months after the accident as a result of the injuries he had sustained.

Under a new recommendation, only specially trained tactical Devon & Cornwall police drivers are to be used in the initial pursuit of motorists deemed to pose any form of risk.

Mrs Twomey, in an emotional plea after a Torquay inquest on December 2, pleaded with all UK police forces to review their procedures for dealing with high risk motorists such as suicidal drivers.

She lost her family and suffered life-threatening injuries herself when Polish taxi driver Marek Wojciechowski (26) rammed their Volkswagen Golf car at a junction outside the tourist town.

The north Cork woman said police had been "completely wrong" in how they had handled Mr Wojciechowski.

She claimed their intervention had "panicked" the Polish taxi driver in the seconds before the tragedy.

WRONG

"I believe the police officer should have stopped following and turned off his siren well before the crash barrier ended to avoid any head-on conflict.

"While I don't blame the police officer involved personally for my tragic story, I do blame the police service."

hnews@herald.ie


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