The Evening Standard has details of the incident in today’s edition. In March 2011 PC David Lynch was responding to an emergency call and was driving at more than 60 miles per hour to respond to the emergency. He lost control of his police van in Hackney and hit Mr Joseph (“Pepe”) Belmonte at 45mph.
Witnesses reported that Mr Belmonte, 31, was thrown over the bonnet of the police van and catapulted into a nearby tree like a “ragdoll”. He received severe brain, spine and face injuries and injuries to his right arm and fingers. Doctors were forced to put him into an induced coma because of the severity of the injuries and Mr Belmonte remained in the induced coma for 9 days.
His parents sued the British Transport Police for personal injury and negligence and PC Lynch was prosecuted for careless driving and dangerous driving. He was convicted of the more serious of the two offences – dangerous driving – and sentenced to an eight-month suspended prison sentence as a result. He also received 240 hours’ community service, faces a 6pm – 7am curfew for 3 months, was banned from driving for 15 months, ordered to retake his driving test, and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.
Mr Belmonte was apparently just days away from launching his first album when he was suffered the accident. His mother, Patsy Belmonte, stated the following: “Physically, he will never be the same… he has spent 15 months recovering. It has had a huge impact on every area of his life”. Mr Belmonte, speaking through his personal injury solicitor, said: “I can’t really explain the effect it has had on my life. I am very depressed at the reality that I will never be the same person again. If the threat of a custodial sentence is what it takes to remind trained police officers on emergency calls that they must take personal responsibility for their actions then it is a positive law that needs to stay in place. My primary concern now is to continue with my recovery and to continue with my music and film career.”
Hundreds of thousands of motorists and pedestrians suffer potentially fatal accidents in the United Kingdom every year. If you’ve been injured as the result of a car or motorbike crash then get in touch with Direct 2 Lawyers.