Policeman, on Motor-Cycle, Overtakes Denaby Bus Driver – 80 m.p.h. Chase at Wath

August 1951

South Yorkshire Times, August 18th, 1951

80 m.p.h. Chase at Wath

Policeman, on Motor-Cycle, Overtakes Denaby Bus Driver

After one of two police constables who were riding their bicycles on Doncaster Road, Wath on May 13th had been knocked from his machine by a motor-car, the other constable stopped a motor-cyclist and road pillion at 80 miles per hour in a three quarters of a mile chase after the culprit driver.

This was described at Rotherham West Riding Court on Monday, when Aubrey Clark, (28), bus driver, of 8, Cliff View, Denaby, was found “Guilty” on charges of driving a motor-car in a dangerous manner, failing to stop after being involved in an accident which caused injury to a person and failing to have a Road Fund licence attached to the car in the prescribed manner. He was found £10 on the first charge, £5 on the second and £1 on the third.  He was also ordered to pay £2 3s 6d costs.

Through his solicitor, Mr. P. White, Clark pleaded “Not Guilty” to all three charges. Mr. J. Wright prosecuting said that the two police constables were riding in the direction of West Melton at 10.25 p.m. Both had lights showing to front and rear of their machines and as they neared Gorehill Bridge they rode in single file.  The accused’s car approached in the opposite direction at a fast speed. They saw the car swing completely to its wrong side of the road and strike a retaining wall of the bridge

On Pillion

The rear of the car then struck the leading constable’s machine and knocked him to the ground.  The constable was badly shaken but did not receive any injury, The other constable, continued Mr. Wright, stopped a passing motor-cyclist and, riding pillion, gave chase and overtook the car at Manvers Main Colliery bridge. When the constable told Clark that he had been involved in an accident the defendant was alleged to have said “Well I didn’t hurt anyone, did I?”  The car was examined and found to be without a Road Fund licence.

Coun. J. W. Espley, a member of the local Road Safety Committee, of 12, Henry Road, Wath, said that he had witnessed the incident and the defendant’s vehicle travelled on the footpath of the bridge for approximately five yards after scraping the retaining wall

Pc. T. Codd, the constable who was knocked from his machine said that the defendant must have seen him because he tried to swing the vehicle to the correct side of the road.  After he was falling from his machine he saw the car swing to its correct side of the road, and again scrape the retaining wall of the bridge

He estimated the car to have travelled at a speed of approximately 50 miles per hour.

“In a hurry”

Mr. P. Wright cross-questioned Pc. Codd asking if the thought it was possible to drive a car across that particular bridge at a speed of 50 m.p.h. the constable replied “Yes.”  The other constable, Pc. A. Pearson told the bench that when he told Clark about stopping after an accident, he replied “I was in a hurry and I did not think.”  In a statement the defendant said he did not see anything until he was seven yards from the bridge, when he noticed a dog or a cat run into the road. He swerved to miss it, and pulled over to his right and carried on. He saw two persons on bicycles but did not know anything about knocking anyone off his machine.  He estimated his speed to be 15 m.p.h, When the constable stopped him, the constable said: “if you had knocked my mate off his bicycle, I would have banged your brains in.”

Unaware of Accident

Mr. White submitted that the summons of failing to stop when an accident had occurred and injury to a person resulted should, in his opinion, be dismissed on the grounds that no injury did result and his client was unaware of any accident.  He also contended that the constable had not made a proper examination of the car when he stopped the defendant, and there was in fact a Road Fund licence displayed on the car. It was very unlikely, he added, that the firm would hire the car out with out a licence. His client was only driving the car which had been hired by one of his passengers, and he therefore submitted that the charge should also be dismissed.

“The speeds mentioned in the prosecution are absolutely fantastic because of the road at this point of the bridge.”  Clark told the Bench that after avoiding the animal he felt a bump and thought it was his back tyre scraping the footpath.