A police officer has been served with a gross misconduct notice after a fatal crash between his patrol car responding to a 999 call and a motorcycle.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is investigating the circumstances of a collision that claimed the life of the motorbike pillion passenger on Dunston Bank in Gateshead on Friday July 8.

Muriel Pinkney, 74, died in hospital on Sunday 17 July, while the male rider was taken to hospital after sustaining multiple fractures to his leg, hip, and pelvis.

Read more: Motorist cut from car wreck on A1 Western Bypass near Newcastle following three car collision

According to the IOPC, the evidence gathered so far shows the officer involved was responding to an emergency call at the time and travelling with his blue lights on Dunston Road near the MetroCentre.

The notice informs the officer that their conduct or actions may have breached the standards of professional behaviour.

The watchdong has further notified the officer that the evidence indicates they may have committed a criminal offence in relation to their manner of driving.

This does not necessarily mean conduct proceedings or criminal charges will follow and the status of the officer will remain under review throughout the investigation.

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IOPC Regional Director Thea Walton said: “Following thorough and careful analysis of the available evidence, we have informed an officer that their conduct is now under investigation.

“Upon conclusion of our inquiries, we will determine whether any disciplinary proceedings, or a referral to the Crown Prosecution Service, may be required, or indeed whether any learning has been identified.

“Our thoughts remain with Mrs Pinkney’s family and all those affected. We will remain in contact with the family to keep them updated on how our inquiries progress.”

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