A POLICE officer broke down in tears as she told an inquest about the moment her colleague knocked down and killed a South Tyneside man.
Pc Jocelyn Raine and three fellow officers were responding to a 999 call from a man threatening to take his own life when the tragedy happened.
Vincent Gibson, of Shaw Avenue, Biddick Hall, South Shields, was hit by the car in Whiteleas Way, South Shields, on January 7, 2012.
The 50-year-old died from multiple injuries, and an inquest, led by South Tyneside coroner Terence Carney, is being held at Moot Hall, Newcastle.
Mr Gibson, a father-of-two, was pronounced dead at South Tyneside District Hospital, and the tragedy was subject to an investigation by Durham Constabulary and the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Pc Raine told the hearing she began the night shift at 10pm at South Shields police station on the evening of Mr Gibson’s death.
She said: “I heard the radio go and waited about a second or two, and didn’t hear a response.
“I had just been handed the car keys so shouted up to say I would attend.
“I knew it was a concern for a male and that is was a threat to life.
“I heard my colleague shout up after that.”
Pc Raine said she made her way to her car with the officer she was partnered with, and the pair followed behind the car her colleague was driving towards the address. The route sent them along Whiteleas Way.
Pc Raine said she followed her colleague’s path around a traffic island on the wrong side of the road in order to overtake a bus and a taxi.
She said: “All of a sudden, I just saw debris coming from the vehicle.”
The officer explained that a number of cars were parked in bays along Whiteleas Way.
At first, she mistakenly thought her colleague had “clipped” one of the cars and the “debris” she was seeing was from a bumper.
She added: “It’s only when I stepped out of the vehicle that I realised it wasn’t a bumper and that it was Mr Gibson.”
Pc Raine wept as she described how herself and her colleague checked Mr Gibson for a pulse without success, and she asked the control room for help.
She described how the passenger in her own car had got out and was directing traffic around the incident.
The passenger of her colleague’s car was trapped inside.
She flagged down a passing ambulance.
The paramedic already had a patient in the back, but grabbed equipment and came over to help.
They left when the ambulance requested by Pc Raine arrived on the scene.
After other officers arrived to take over, she was transported to hospital after being given a routine breathalyser test.
n The inquest continues on Monday.