An off-duty police chief inspector whose car struck a university student on a dual carriageway failed to stop and claimed he thought he had hit a post, despite having the victim’s blood and skin on his shattered windscreen, a court heard.
Jamie Jones, from West Midlands Police, hit Warwick University student Raymond Cheung on the Coventry-bound carriageway of the A45 in the early hours of March 8 last year.
Jones, 38, carried on driving after the fatal impact, leaving the victim’s body in the road to be struck by a second car, Shrewsbury Crown Court heard.
Malcolm Morse, prosecuting, told jurors that Jones was not to blame for Mr Cheung’s death as the student emerged on the road just a second or two before the collision.
The inspector is charged with misconduct in a public office for failing to stop at the scene and dangerous driving. The charge of dangerous driving relates not to his driving before the collision, but to the allegation that he continued to drive with a smashed windscreen.
Mr Morse told the jury that on the morning of the collision Jones was travelling along the road, which links Birmingham and Coventry, in his BMW Series 5 at a speed just below the limit of 60mph.
He said the collision with Mr Cheung was "entirely unavoidable", explaining: "He is not criminally responsible for Raymond Cheung’s death, there was nothing he could have done to avoid it."
But the prosecutor said Jones "must have known" he had hit a person and failed in his duty as a police officer when he did not pull over at the scene.
Mr Morse said: "He did not stop. There is some evidence from a taxi driver who was on the scene at the time of the collision that he actually speeded up and he drove away."
The court heard that a number of other motorists who spotted the body in the road pulled over and put on their hazard lights to alert other drivers to the obstruction. Despite their efforts the body of Mr Cheung was struck by a Volvo car and carried for some distance along the carriageway, Mr Morse said.
The prosecutor said Mr Cheung had driven to a service station on the Coventry-bound carriageway of the road, where he parked his car, leaving his mobile phone and wallet inside.
The court heard that the 20-year-old, originally from Hong Kong, had recently had a "falling out" with a female student at the university and may have walked into the oncoming traffic intentionally.
Mr Morse said: "He crossed the dual carriageway on the Coventry to Birmingham side and made his way in some way or another, over or under or through the central reservation.
"Mr Cheung was a pedestrian wearing black clothes who will have emerged from a shadow on an unlit road.
"It is most likely that, at the time when the defendant for the very first time saw him, he will have had something in the region of 1.5 to two seconds to react. In other words, no time at all.
"He did hit the student. The consequence of that impact was that Raymond Cheung suffered multiple injuries and was killed."
The prosecutor added: "Mr Cheung may have stepped into the defendant’s carriageway intentionally.
"It is one of the explanations that fits with the evidence that I have outlined to you."
Mr Morse said a post-mortem examination found evidence that Mr Cheung had been standing upright in the road when he was struck and had subsequently hit the windscreen of the BMW.
He said: "We know his body must have done that because, later on, hair and skin and blood from him was found in the damaged glass of the windscreen."
The court heard that after the collision Jones, of Allesley, Coventry, drove home and called a police station in the city.
He told officers he needed someone to come to his home and said he believed he had hit a post.
When two police officers arrived at his home he told them he had heard a "loud pop" as his windscreen smashed and he hoped he had not struck a person, Mr Morse said.
He added: "In response to their silence he said words to the effect of, ‘Oh God, it was a person wasn’t it?"’
Mr Morse said: "Albeit at a time when he could do nothing about it... at a time he must have seen that there was a pedestrian standing in the road in front of him.
"At some point his windscreen has shattered. The most likely cause for its shattering is that Raymond hit it and one of the parts of Raymond Cheung’s body that hit the windscreen are his head and face."
He added: "It is the Crown’s case that if one stops as dispassionately as can be and then examines these circumstances by that analysis, one is driven to the conclusion that the driver must have known that he had hit a person.
"But as I have said, he did not stop. Other people did.
"We say that when he drove on he was making an intentional choice to drive on."
The case continues.