Watchdog investigating Leicestershire Police over fatal M1 crash after call made about man’s welfare
Leicestershire Police is being investigated over its handling of a call made to the force about a man's welfare shortly before he was involved in a fatal crash on the M1. The man, 39, died when he was hit by a lorry on the motorway on the morning of Wednesday, August 23, last year.
Police said at the time that the man, who the force described as a pedestrian, had been pronounced dead at the scene. LeicestershireLive understands that shortly before the fatal incident, the man had been involved in a collision in his own car and was awaiting recovery on the hard shoulder between Lutterworth and Leicester.
Kaisor Ahmed, the brother of the man who died, told LeicestershireLive he had contacted Leicestershire Police before the second, fatal crash, raising concerns for his brother's welfare. Mr Ahmed said he told the police his brother, who we are not naming at Mr Ahmed's request, was "vulnerable", and that officers needed to go to the scene because he feared what might happen.
That did not happen, however, Mr Ahmed claimed, and almost two hours after the initial incident, his brother was fatally hit by a lorry.
Mr Ahmed, 42, said he also spoke to National Highways officers - who were at the scene following the initial crash - via a phone call between him and his brother. Mr Ahmed said he told his brother to hand the phone to the National Highways officers, which he did, and that when he spoke to the officers he asked them to stay with his brother. He claimed that also did not happen.
An inquest into the 39-year-old man's death has been opened and suspended while an investigation into the incident by the police, and a separate investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), are ongoing. Leicestershire Police referred itself to the IOPC, which is common practice when a force has had contact with a party before they are involved in a serious incident.
A Leicestershire Police spokesperson said: “Following a review of the incident and prior contact made to the police, it was deemed that the incident met the criteria of a Death or Serious Injury referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). Therefore a mandatory referral was made to them.
“On receiving this referral, the IOPC have commenced an independent investigation, which we are supporting alongside inquiries we continue to carry out on behalf of HM Coroner.”
A National Highways spokesperson said: “Any death on our roads is one too many and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the gentleman involved in this incident. The incident remains an ongoing police investigation so it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
A spokesperson for the IOPC said: “We are independently investigating the involvement of Leicestershire Police before a man was struck by a lorry and died near Junction 20 of the M1 on the morning of 23 August, 2023.
“Our investigation began following a mandatory referral from Leicestershire Police and as part of that we are looking at the handling of a call which was made to police prior to the collision, which concerned the welfare of the man who died.
“When our inquiries are completed we will share our investigation report with the coroner, Leicestershire Police and other interested parties. We will consider publication of our findings at the conclusion of any associated proceedings, including coronial.”