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shuggee

Crash victims may have lain injured for three days

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Saw it on the news this morning. Obviously we don't know the full facts yet but it seems like a case where heads should roll.

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There is a practice in Scotland (don't know if it applies UK wide) of putting a "Police aware" sticker on abandoned cars at the roadside. Sometimes these vehicles are left for several days. I feel these vehicles should be removed immediately rather that left for the owners to retrieve.

It becomes very easy to ignore abandoned vehicles, indeed I passed one on the M9 on Sunday with a sticker. It could have been there for legitimate reasons but if removed it highlights any others that the police are not agware of.

Police are not infallable and non uniform admin services can make errors. This case needs careful, open and honest investigation, not something the police normally undertake, preferring to cover bakcksides first. The big question not being publicly asked is, could prompt attendance have savreed a life

There must be no hint of coverup.

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This reminds me of those 'Man found dead in flat had been there for 5 years' type stories.

 

There may be genuine negligence, but even if people follow procedures to the letter, things like this will still crop up from time to time simply due to probability.

 

Like these stories:

 

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/crime-law/man-found-in-crashed-car-6-hours-after-it-was-towe/njfRT/

 

Deputy reprimanded for not noticing man in car before towing
 
Tow truck driver accidentally discovers man inside vehicle
 
---
 
 
Body of woman, 18, in car for more than 24hrs after Cecil Park fatal crash
 
---
 
 
Dutch parachutist fell to his death unnoticed
 
The body of an experienced Dutch parachutist was found in a field nine days after no one noticed that he had plummeted to his death in a sky-diving jump that went wrong.

 

 

In fact the 'How could people not notice there was a person in the car' aspect in many ways contributes to the person being overlooked; people don't believe that they could have been!

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This reminds me of those 'Man found dead in flat had been there for 5 years' type stories.

 

There may be genuine negligence, but even if people follow procedures to the letter, things like this will still crop up from time to time simply due to probability.

 

Like these stories:

 

 

In fact the 'How could people not notice there was a person in the car' aspect in many ways contributes to the person being overlooked; people don't believe that they could have been!

 

It appears though that in this case the police didn't "follow procedures to the letter"...

 

Police Scotland found the pair in a blue Renault Clio just off the M9 near Stirling on Wednesday.

 

The force admitted the crash had been reported to them on Sunday morning but had not been followed up

 

Mistakes get made, but as Frogesque said the investigation into why mistakes were made in this instance needs to be open and transparent. I'm sure they will be able to determine if the deceased man died at the time of the crash or in the intervening 3 days.

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This reminds me of those 'Man found dead in flat had been there for 5 years' type stories.

 

There may be genuine negligence, but even if people follow procedures to the letter, things like this will still crop up from time to time simply due to probability.

 

Like these stories:

 

 

In fact the 'How could people not notice there was a person in the car' aspect in many ways contributes to the person being overlooked; people don't believe that they could have been!

The parachutist one beggars belief. How the hell did anyone not notice? I mean did they expect after they jumped that they would just pack up their parachute at landing spot, walk back to their vehicle and drive off? Are you kidding me? They may have been a loner but surely someone must have noticed that a parachute was missing.

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There is a practice in Scotland (don't know if it applies UK wide) of putting a "Police aware" sticker on abandoned cars at the roadside. Sometimes these vehicles are left for several days. I feel these vehicles should be removed immediately rather that left for the owners to retrieve.

It becomes very easy to ignore abandoned vehicles, indeed I passed one on the M9 on Sunday with a sticker. It could have been there for legitimate reasons but if removed it highlights any others that the police are not agware of.

Police are not infallable and non uniform admin services can make errors. This case needs careful, open and honest investigation, not something the police normally undertake, preferring to cover bakcksides first. The big question not being publicly asked is, could prompt attendance have savreed a life

There must be no hint of coverup.

Yes we have police aware stickers. Annoying when the care is clearly stolen window broken steering wheel or lock clearly broken or number plates removed. What generally happens they get more stickers plus a few parking tickets rather than the owner being notified or if the insurance companies involved arranging with them to get the vehicle removed. In case of no number plates two it away and the car iD from the chassis number rather than messing around.

 

Not surprised the police didn't respond after all they didn't bother responding to that break in in London did they. Only defense would be if the person calling it in couldn't give a location.

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I'm sure you all remember the French Alps shootings, when a four-year-old girl was left in the car with her murdered family

who hid for eight hours under the bodies of her slain relatives.

 

How the french police didn't realize that she was there is beyond me.  

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There is a practice in Scotland (don't know if it applies UK wide) of putting a "Police aware" sticker on abandoned cars at the roadside. Sometimes these vehicles are left for several days. I feel these vehicles should be removed immediately rather that left for the owners to retrieve.

 

This came around because individuals and rouge traders were dumping cars at the side of the road, having undertaken all means to remove identification marks. If police were responsible for removing all vehicles swiftly, it would have reached epidemic proportions. Of course the scrap values are much higher now so this is much less likely to be the issue it was in the past, so perhaps the whole protocol needs looked at.

 

It doesn't seem entirely clear whether this was a 999 call or a call to Police Scotland, if it was a 999 call there may need to be a wider look at procedures? The whole thing doesn't bare thinking about, can't imagine what the families are going through. 

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It appears though that in this case the police didn't "follow procedures to the letter"...

 

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not excusing anyone.

 

However, it seems someone saw a car crash off the road so they phoned police but then just drove away?

 

If that's true, what on earth was the person thinking. Did they not stop? Who in their right mind wouldn't stop.

 

Sure if other people have already stopped then soon others reason that there's no need to.

 

However, from what I see of photos, the car was invisible from the road. So, whoever saw it must have seen it crash and phoned but not stayed to see if the people were ok / phone an ambulance if needed. That's very weird.

 

Or someone did see the car and just assumed it had already been dealt with because nobody else seemed bothered by it.

 

In both cases, I can see a problem here with regards to police response.

 

If someone just phones the police to report 'a car crash' but they leave the scene and no ambulance is called, that makes it seem that nobody was hurt.

 

If someone phones in a car at the bottom of a ditch they noticed but again reports nobody injured, again it seems that there's maybe a car needing towed at some point but other than that, nothing bad has happened.

 

This is what I mean; events transpiring to make it less likely that people realise that someone has actually been hurt. It doesn't necessarily excuse, but can help explain when something like this happens.

 

In fact if someone did report a car off the road having seen the crash and just drove away, you might be asking whether they caused the accident.

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Wasn't there a 'similar' case down here, some years' back: a dead guy took about three bus-trips, and still wasn't found until the next day? Then, there was the Swedish guy who was dead in his office, for three days, before anyone noticed...these things happen. Aren't we all a bit put off by the prospect of a dead body?

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if someone did report a car off the road having seen the crash and just drove away,

Could they have seen it from the motorway and not been able to stop or go back?

When I first heard it I thought the car might have gone down into bushes or something, it's actually surprising it doesn't happen more often especially places like here which still have mostly no mobile phone coverage (  :angry: ).

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Could they have seen it from the motorway and not been able to stop or go back?

 

 

There is extensive hard shoulder at the scene on both sides of the road.

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All these are very tragic cases, which often occur through a breakdowns in communication - I agree it should never have happened and there should not be any cases like this at all but unfortunately even though we may have the best training in the world human fallibility has always, does and always will lead to mistakes at times and believe it or believe it not police officers are also human.

 

I recall the lectures we had relating to the importance of clear information being passed forward and as an example a scene was set at the time of the Crimean War when one of the senior officers said, 'Send for re-enforcements we are going to advance - pass it down the line'. By the time the message got to the end of the line it was transcribed to, 'Send for three and four pence, we are going to a dance.' 

 

It was also emphasised that were a car was seen 'off the road' in such a position so as to indicate an accident, not only should the car be thoroughly searched but the surrounding area as well. It won't be the first time that an injured car occupant has managed to get out of the car only to collapse somewhere in the near vicinity. If the officers attending are not happy, for example blood found at the scene could indicate an injury then a tracker dog could be called for.

 

Unfortunately the police service along with some other occupations is one of those where a seemingly slight error can lead to such tragic results, which does not happen to the same extent in other walks of life but I have little doubt that those concerned in this chain of communication are feeling absolutely gutted. However we cannot enter a time tunnel and undo what has already been done and this is something that the police service as a whole, the force concerned and the people concerned should learn from and establish methods to make such communications as idiot proof as they possibly can.

 

As it is all telephone calls received from the public should be recorded and computerised and there should be a system in place to ensue that nothing has been left undone, for example at the end of a shift, or if it has not been completed it should be flagged for such completion by the following shift. 

 

There will be, no doubt an exhaustive enquiry into how this all came about, though it is going to be small benefit to the deceased, the critically injured or their families but it may help prevent a similar occurrence in the future.

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I am sure I posted a thread about someone laying dead in their car in a supermarket car park for a number of days. It is believed he had been dead for a month. How did no one in Tesco investigated the car just on the grounds that a car may have been abandoned in their car park?

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Sadly the young lady involved has passed away..

Now that is a life that could have been saved if found quicker, she survived three days, without treatment. 

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Now that is a life that could have been saved if found quicker, she survived three days, without treatment. 

 

Possibly two lives could have been saved, who knows?

 

Appalling stuff by the police here. Heads should roll.

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Agreed Nick.  Goodbye clueless Sir Stephen. 

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Possibly two lives could have been saved, who knows?

 

Appalling stuff by the police here. Heads should roll.

Nick, I refer you to my post #16 - We do not know how accurate the original information was, especially as regards to the location or the exact content of it was. Our information on this is through the media which even at the best of times is not as accurate as it should be.

This may have been a gigantic cockup on the part of the police or it may have been a very unfortunate series of events and these things do happen. We are not going to know until a thorough investigation of the circumstances are known, so it is too early to make the quote 'Appalling stuff by the police here. Heads should roll'.

Jumping to conclusions before the full facts are known is exactly the kind of stuff which could lead to tragedies of this sort under circumstances different to this forum.

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Nick, I refer you to my post #16 - We do not know how accurate the original information was, especially as regards to the location or the exact content of it was. Our information on this is through the media which even at the best of times is not as accurate as it should be.

This may have been a gigantic cockup on the part of the police or it may have been a very unfortunate series of events and these things do happen. We are not going to know until a thorough investigation of the circumstances are known, so it is too early to make the quote 'Appalling stuff by the police here. Heads should roll'.

Jumping to conclusions before the full facts are known is exactly the kind of stuff which could lead to tragedies of this sort under circumstances different to this forum.

 

Even the police themselves have come out and admitted they failed.

 

Someone somewhere in the service has made a fatal error. There is no getting away from that.

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Even the police themselves have come out and admitted they failed.

 

Someone somewhere in the service has made a fatal error. There is no getting away from that.

The thing I am getting at Nick is that when making a decision of culpability over a serious matter such as this it should be done of the basis of all the available facts which rarely if ever get reported in the news and so very often we end up with people making knee jerk judgements. 

 

I'll put it another way - when investigating an incident or a crime there are some who make up their minds on just a few facts then plough on through the rest of the enquiry making the facts fit their theory - the result of this is that the wrong people can get arrested, charged, tried and convicted which you will no doubt agree is not an ideal situation.

 

In this case it is reported that, 'The chief constable said a member of the public had called the 101 non-emergency number at about 11:30 on Sunday after seeing the car down the embankment near the Bannockburn slip road.'

 

There is no mention of any people being in the car, or indeed that the accident was witnesses and it would appear that the caller did not realise the gravity of the situation by using the 101 number instead of the 999 system. If the caller was that concerned I would have expected him/her to have stayed at the scene to be in a position to point out the exact location which as given does not appear to be exact and could well have covered several hundred metres.

 

Ultimately the Police have a duty to preserve life the time and the police would have no option but to accept vicarious liability but if this Scottish Information room was working to the same system as in my old force, as I said in the earlier post, first of all the call would have been recorded as a matter of course, secondly if the content of the call warranted action, then it would have been logged on the computer as an 'action' and ultimately this 'action' would have required closure by being endorsed with an acceptable result but it seems that this was not done in its entirety.

 

The same as any other member of the public I am not in possession of the full facts of this case and can only comment from my experience and previous knowledge and whether the police were wholly to blame for this apparent cock up I am not in a position to say but from what I have seen so far I would suspect that the original caller did not realise the gravity of the situation and subsequent actions, or non actions stemmed from this.

 

People like the police, nurses and doctors are in the unenvious position where if they do make an error of judgement it can result in the loss of life which does not apply to the majority of the public doing normal jobs.

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In this case it is reported that, 'The chief constable said a member of the public had called the 101 non-emergency number at about 11:30 on Sunday after seeing the car down the embankment near the Bannockburn slip road.'

 

There is no mention of any people being in the car, or indeed that the accident was witnesses and it would appear that the caller did not realise the gravity of the situation by using the 101 number instead of the 999 system. If the caller was that concerned I would have expected him/her to have stayed at the scene to be in a position to point out the exact location which as given does not appear to be exact and could well have covered several hundred metres.

 

 

Mike, I agree, we're not working with the full set of facts so we've got to wait until any inquiry is concluded.

 

However, having said that, if the facts are as you posted in the above quote there's been a major failing. You've got to assume that by calling 101 rather than 999, the person who made the call did not see the car leave the road. For that reason it's likely the person who made the call only noticed the car briefly on passing. Having not witnessed it crash, it's unlikely anyone would stop to investigate/help, especially on a Motorway hard shoulder. They are dangerous places at the best of time and it might have involved either reversing, or walking, back along the hard shoulder.

 

The person who made the call likely did the right thing. It does beg the question though, if they saw it without witnessing it leave the road, how many more people saw the car in the next 3 days without reporting it? Also, what prompted the police to check the car out after 3 days? I'm not sure I've heard that question answered yet.

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Mike, I agree, we're not working with the full set of facts so we've got to wait until any inquiry is concluded.

 

However, having said that, if the facts are as you posted in the above quote there's been a major failing. You've got to assume that by calling 101 rather than 999, the person who made the call did not see the car leave the road. For that reason it's likely the person who made the call only noticed the car briefly on passing. Having not witnessed it crash, it's unlikely anyone would stop to investigate/help, especially on a Motorway hard shoulder. They are dangerous places at the best of time and it might have involved either reversing, or walking, back along the hard shoulder.

 

The person who made the call likely did the right thing. It does beg the question though, if they saw it without witnessing it leave the road, how many more people saw the car in the next 3 days without reporting it? Also, what prompted the police to check the car out after 3 days? I'm not sure I've heard that question answered yet.

Ravelin,

 

I would agree with your assumptions, as to what happened afterwards we are only guessing at the moment but I dare say all will be revealed after an enquiry.

 

All I can say is that in my experience police officers are usually responsible people but as human beings subject to human fallibility. I suspect that in this case poor communication from the receipt of the first call dialling 101. Though it is quite feasible that had the car been found within a short period of time this young lady's life could have been saved.

 

It is not altogether an unusual event for a vehicle to leave the road and get abandoned, the most common cause being that the driver was probably drunk and preferred not to remain at the scene.

 

I would have thought that over a 3 day period that road policing officers would have patrolled that stretch but whether they would have seen it or depends on its position and whether it was obscured by vegetation and countless other people must have passed the scene.

 

However it does get my goat when people are so quick to criticise without knowing the full facts.

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