LONDON, UK—The family of 78-year-old Harbhajan Kaur, killed by a police motorbike travelling at 72mph, this week vowed to fight on for justice, after a week-long inquest into her death concluded on Tuesday, ruling nobody was at fault, and that the death was nothing more than a tragic accident.
Harbhajan Kaur was hit as she crossed the road outside her home in Gants Hill, in June last year. At the time of the collision, the police motorbike rider was escorting a number of taxis transporting disabled children for a trip to Southend.
As a result of the collision, Mrs Kaur’s body was so seriously disfigured that the family were unable to properly conduct the traditional Sikh funeral rites.
The family raises the argument that at such speeds, the motorbike should have been sounding sirens, and as a result there could have been a different outcome. The location on the A12, where the accident took place, has a 40mph speed limit, and accordingly the family feels that a 72 mph speed was unnecessary.
They called for a fresh investigation into the role of the officer, who was acquitted of any wrongdoing in Tuesday’s inquest.
Son Gurmej Singh, 61, of Goodmayes, said: “This wasn’t an emergency. How can it have been that urgent for the officer to be going that fast? We feel powerless that there hasn’t been a proper investigation.”
“If it was me, police would have arrested me straight away. My mother has been crossing there every day for 18 years and she only crossed when there was the green man.”
Mr Singh said officers told him that it was necessary for the motorbike to speed up in order to reach Gants Hill roundabout before the taxis in order to stop traffic and allow for safe passage, and as a result the officer failed to see Mrs Kaur crossing the road.
One of eight grandchildren, Amandip Kaur said: “All we want is justice. He was going over 70 with no warning. We feel that if they are going to travel that fast, emergency or not, they should have their sirens on. She was the most lovely, wise person who is still missed every day.”
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “The incident was investigated by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and a full investigation took place. The officer was interviewed under caution.
“A file was handed to the Crown Prosecution Service which made the decision there was insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction on charges of either death by dangerous or careless driving.”