The family of woman killed by a police motorbike going 72 mph today vowed to fight on for justice, claiming they had been “failed” by the authorities.
Harbhajan Kaur, 78, was hit as she crossed the road outside her home in Gants Hill. The City of London police motorcycle rider was escorting a convoy of taxis carrying disabled children for a day trip to Southend.
An inquest into her death of the grandmother-of-eight on Tuesday ruled nobody was to blame and that the clash was a tragic accident.
The family argue it was unnecessary to be travelling at 72mph. They say if the bike had been slower, or was sounding sirens, the outcome could have been different. The road — the A12 — has a 40mpoh limit at that point.
They said they were angry the officer, who was seriously injured in the collision, was not charged or disciplined and called for a fresh investigation.
Mrs Kaur’s son Gurmej Singh, 61, of Goodmayes, said: “This wasn’t an emergency. How can it have been that urgent for the officer to be going that fast? We feel powerless that there hasn’t been a proper investigation.
“If it was me, police would have arrested me straight away. My mother has been crossing there every day for 18 years and she only crossed when there was the green man.”
Police had been slowing traffic at junctions while escorting the convoy in June last year. Mr Singh said officers told him the motorbike had to speed up ahead of the vehicles to reach Gants Hill roundabout before the convoy to halt traffic. It had pulled out alongside the taxis but failed to see her.
Her body was so severely disfigured the family were unable to properly conduct a traditional Sikh ceremony of bathing and dressing the body and praying with an open coffin.
Granddaughter Amandip Kaur said: “All we want is justice. He was going over 70 with no warning. We feel that if they are going to travel that fast, emergency or not, they should have their sirens on. She was the most lovely, wise person who is still missed every day.” Mrs Kaur’s husband died from a stroke 10 years ago.
A Met spokesman said: “The incident was investigated by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and a full investigation took place. The officer was interviewed under caution.
“A file was handed to the Crown Prosecution Service which made the decision there was insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction on charges of either death by dangerous or careless driving.”
He added that a review of the evidence recommended “that no disciplinary or misconduct proceedings should be taken”.