Postman jailed for careless driving that killed police officer

Oliver Evans died at the scene of the crash two years ago (Picture: Cumbria Police)

A postman whose careless driving led to the death of an off-duty police officer has been jailed.

Graham Ellison, 59, was driving his van was on the wrong side of the road when PC Oliver Evans’ motorcycle turned a corner in Cumbria, nearly two years ago.

The 27-year-old cop died at the scene after he was forced to brake hard and came off his motorbike near Sedbergh.

Ellison, who had previously admitted causing death by careless driving, was jailed for 32 weeks by a judge at Carlisle Crown Court.

The court heard Ellison was travelling along the A683 in a Peugeot van on September 16, 2019, when he was involved in a collision at 4.40pm with a Triumph motorcycle.

He had overtaken a horse and carriage moments earlier and remained on the wrong side of the road, as he was planning to pull into a junction on that side of the road.

But during the manoeuvre, PC Evans came around the blind bend and had to take immediate action before colliding with the van.

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The biker suffered severe head and spine injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, despite attempts by a number of people, including Ellison, to save him.

The former postman, from Warton, near Carnforth, Lancashire, was also ordered to serve a two-year driving ban when released.

Inspector Steve Vickers, of Cumbria Police, said: ‘Ellison’s decision to remain on the wrong side of the road towards a blind bend without consideration of other motorists travelling was careless.

‘This inevitably meant Oliver had to take emergency action.

‘Oliver’s passing continues to be felt by his family, friends and colleagues.

‘He achieved his dream of becoming a traffic officer in the police and was a caring, loving and loyal individual.’

PC Evans’ family previously said in a statement: ‘We are heartbroken by our loss, Oliver will be missed by so many, friends and colleagues alike, but his loss will especially be felt by his partner Holly, sister Ellie and parents Shirley and Simon.

‘He always had a story to tell, entertaining his family and friends with tales of his adventures, his smile and vibrant personality filling the room.

‘Oliver had a mature outlook on life and there is no doubt that he was wise beyond his 27 years.

‘The fulfilment of his desire for a career as a police officer has been testament to his unwavering hard work and ambition.’

His family said PC Evans had wanted to be a police officer since he was 16 when he visited the Mobile Support Group at Ulverston Police Station.

The statement continued: ‘Oliver’s imagination was well and truly captured and he set out to pursue a path that would take him through a degree in Police and Criminal Investigation at university.

‘He initially served as a Special Constable with Lancashire Constabulary alongside his course, before commencing his regular service in October 2014.’

Chief Superintendent Rob O’Connor, of Cumbria Constabulary, said: ‘Oli didn’t waver for a moment in his determination to follow his dream of becoming a Mobile Support Group officer, and joined the Operational Support Unit in 2017.

Paying tribute to his ‘immense professionalism and true grit’, he continued: ‘Oli had both of these in abundance – along with an infectious energy and a cheeky smile, all of which very quickly cemented him as a well-respected and much loved member of the team.

‘His sudden and unexpected passing is being felt extremely deeply by his colleagues, and our thoughts and hearts are with his family and friends at this tragic time.’

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