A CHIEF Constable last night led tributes a policeman who died when his van hit a tree while responding to an emergency call.

Married father-of-two Andrew Bramma, a police constable in North Yorkshire, was responding to a 999 call when his patrol van left the road on Saturday evening.

The Northern Echo:

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The accident happened at about 7pm just outside West Tanfield, near Ripon.

PC Bramma was the only person in the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.

An experienced officer with more than four years service, he had joined North Yorkshire Police after transferring from Greater Manchester Police just four months ago.

Temporary chief constable Tim Madgwick, pictured right, from North Yorkshire Police, said the serving officer’s colleagues felt an “overwhelming sense of sadness” which was shared by the entire force.

The Northern Echo:

He said: “This is a truly sad day for North Yorkshire Police.

“Andrew was a committed, enthusiastic officer who wanted to serve the public and the community.

“My thoughts are with his family and friends who have suffered the most tragic and devastating loss.

“The overwhelming sense of sadness which had been felt by Andrew’s colleagues is shared by the entire force as we mourn the loss of one of our officers.”

Speaking at a press conference, the temporary chief constable said PC Bramma’s immediate family had been informed and were being supported by specially trained officers.

Mike Stubbs, from North Yorkshire Police Federation, said the officer was a “well-liked and respected officer” and his death had left colleagues distraught.

“Today we are mourning a member of our police family, who was killed making his way to an incident to help a member of the public.

“Andrew had quickly established himself as a well-liked and respected officer amongst his colleagues in North Yorkshire, who are distraught at his death.

“Most tragically, he leaves behind a young family who are devastated by last night’s events.”

Julia Mulligan, the police and crime commissioner for North Yorkshire said: “We urgently need to find out what happened and in due course to make sure that any lessons are learnt – I am reassured that the force is taking the necessary steps to do so.

“However, right now my focus is to ensure that North Yorkshire Police has all it needs to provide full support to the officer’s family and colleagues at this tragic time.”

In the quiet village of West Tanfield, people at the local pubs and shops said they knew nothing of the accident the night before until news reached them this morning (Sunday, jan 6).

Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith said: “The death of a North Yorkshire Police officer while responding to an emergency call is tragic news. My thoughts are with his family and colleagues at this difficult time.”

All flags at police stations in North Yorkshire were flown at half-mast as a mark of respect.

The Health and Safety Executive is to carry out an investigation into the cause of the crash. Anyone who witnessed the collision, is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101.