A woman has been cleared of causing a fatal crash which killed a well known Thames Valley Police Officer who appeared on TV’s Road Wars and a 91-year-old woman.
PC James ‘Dixie’ Dixon and Gladys Goodwin were killed in Wargrave, Berkshire in December 2017.
A jury found Agne Jasulaitiene not guilty of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
PC Dixon’s motorbike struck the side of her Toyota as she turned right, Reading Crown Court heard.
The jury returned their verdicts after an hour of deliberations over the crash.
The trial had heard care assistant Ms Jasulaitiene, 36, had been driving Mrs Goodwin from lunch when the crash happened at the junction of Blakes Lane and the A4 Bath Road.
The court heard how PC Dixon was taking part in a police surveillance exercise training HMRC students posted abroad.
PC Dixon was a highly trained advanced driver and motorcyclist having gone through weeks of specialist training.
Speaking outside the court after the trial, PC Dixon’s widow Samantha – who is also a serving Thames Valley Police Officer – said her husband “will be forever missed and never forgotten”.
“Our hearts and thoughts also extend to the family of Gladys Goodwin. They also lost a key member of their family in this collision,” she added.
“We now need to process all the distressing things we’ve heard and seen over the last seven days of the trial and then attempt to move forward as best as we can”.
Following the verdict, Assistant Chief Constable Tim De Meyer released the following statement:
“On Tuesday 5 December 2017, PC James Dixon was on a joint training exercise with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Thames Valley Police (TVP) which led to a collision between his police motorcycle and a car.
“PC Dixon and Mrs Goodwin, who was a passenger in the car, died following the collision.
“This tragic case has affected many people and their families, friends and colleagues.
“PC Dixon’s widow Samantha Dixon, an officer with us at Thames Valley Police, known to her colleagues as Sam Allen, is of course very much in our thoughts, along with the family of Gladys Goodwin.
“Sam has been supported by specially trained Family Liaison Officers throughout this difficult period.
“The welfare of officers and staff affected by this incident is also being carefully managed.
“Police colleagues have supported each other in mourning a wonderful officer, who was affectionately known as Dixie. It is in times of such adversity that the police family demonstrates its extraordinary strength and unity.
“The force has received thousands of messages of support and touching tributes to Dixie, for which we are extremely grateful.
“During the trial we heard more detail about the incident in Wargrave in December 2017.
“The experts in the trial could not be sure of the exact speed at which PC Dixon was travelling. Furthermore, we cannot speculate on PC Dixon’s reason for travelling at a particular speed.
“However, all officers are aware that if they break the speed limit, it must be justifiable.
“Surveillance officers attend an Advanced Driver Course as well as a College of Policing surveillance course.
“Refresher training is mandatory for Advanced Drivers and Riders, and in order to maintain their accreditation, officers must deploy as per Authorised Professional Practice.
“PC Dixon had completed his mandatory training prior to the incident in December 2017.
“All learning from this case will be carefully considered and acted upon where appropriate.
“Quite properly, since a Thames Valley Police officer was killed, the case was subject to two independent investigations, by Sussex Police and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) respectively.
“Sussex Police brought the case to court, where today a jury, having listened to all the evidence, has found Agne Jasulaitiene not guilty of two counts of causing death by careless driving.
“The IOPC carried out an independent investigation into the planning and preparation of the training exercise including risk assessments and the manner of PC Dixon’s driving. They will decide in due course as to whether this report will be published.
“I hope that these independent investigations will at least provide some answers to the families of Mrs Goodwin and PC Dixon. But we understand that they cannot compensate for the dreadful loss of their loved ones.
“Thames Valley Police will continue to support all those affected by this incident however we can.”
Since the death of PC Andrew Harper, Emergency Services News has been setting up memorial groups on social media each time a member of the emergency services dies on duty.
CLICK HERE if you would like to join the group that has been set up for PC Dixon
Our social media group/community is open to both the public and emergency services personnel.
It is also a great place to share any emergency services related content (such as videos) which you have filmed.
If you have a story or video that you would like us to cover/share, then you can contact our team via firstname.lastname@example.org
We also cover stories which relate to the NHS, the armed forces and the security services.
Before you go...
We need your help. As former emergency services & armed forces personnel, we pride ourselves on bringing you important, fast-moving and breaking news stories & videos which are free from the negative bias which is often directed at the emergency services & NHS by some sections of the mainstream media.
One of the reasons we started 'Emergency Services News' back in 2018 was because we became tired of reading badly informed stories about the emergency services & NHS which seemed only ever to highlight negative aspects of the job.
We want to be the unheard voice of the remarkable men and women who serve in the emergency services, NHS and armed forces. And with around 500k page views each month, we are getting there!
As income from ads, the mainstay source of income for most publishers, continues to decline; we need the help of you, our readers.
You can support emergency services news from as little as £1. It only takes a minute. Every contribution, however big or small, is vital for our future.
Please help us to continue to highlight the life-saving work of the emergency services, NHS and armed forces by becoming a supporter.