Police Officer’s Career Hangs in Balance After Serious Collision

A police officer’s career is at risk following a serious collision that left a fellow officer in a coma. Ashleigh McAdams, a 31-year-old police constable with Merseyside Police, was rushing to an emergency incident when she ran a red light and crashed into another patrol car. The collision resulted in one colleague being comatose for several days and another officer, with over two decades of service, unable to return to active duty.

McAdams recently appeared in Liverpool Crown Court where criminal proceedings against her concluded. She was acquitted of criminal charges, but her future with Merseyside Police remains uncertain. The court heard that McAdams was driving a marked Peugeot 308 with PC Charlotte Waters as her passenger when their vehicle collided at high speed with another police car on July 11, 2022.

The other patrol car, a Kia being driven by PC Gary Carson with PC Mark Lockett as a passenger, was responding to a burglary call and traveling at speeds between 60 and 70mph. McAdams, on the other hand, was driving on Green Lane at speeds of up to 81mph. She slowed down to 29mph before proceeding through a red light at a junction, causing the collision.

Video evidence from the police car involved in the collision showed the impact at high speed, with both vehicles colliding with the central reservation. One of the cars came to rest on top of the other, almost tipping over. Prosecutors argued that McAdams failed to properly give way and drove at excessive speed, disregarding the red light.

During her police interview, McAdams admitted that she drove too quickly during the collision but stated that her memory was “foggy.” She suffered injuries, including a broken pelvis and fractured foot, while her colleague PC Waters had a collapsed lung and was in a coma for four days due to a brain bleed. PC Waters continues to suffer from speech and balance issues.

PC Lockett, who was also a passenger in the other patrol car, sustained several injuries, including slipped discs, whiplash, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The incident has had a profound effect on his personal and professional life, causing anxiety and nightmares.

In court, the defense mentioned that McAdams had been diagnosed with PTSD and had recently experienced the loss of her father to bowel cancer. They also highlighted her previous commendation for administering CPR to a murder victim in 2021 and her involvement during violent protests earlier this year.

The outcome of the criminal proceedings means that McAdams will not face further punishment through the legal system. However, her future as a police officer is still uncertain. Merseyside Police will decide whether she will be dismissed from her role based on their internal disciplinary proceedings. PC Waters hopes to return to work, while PC Lockett continues to struggle with the aftermath of the collision.