Dashcam footage captures the moment police officer is ‘almost killed’ when his car is rammed off the road by a banned driver during a high-speed chase
- Sergeant Dave Roberts said he almost died after the incident on February 16
- He was pursuing Nathan Ferguson on the A19 before he was spun off the road
- Ferguson was later arrested after he abandoned his van and tried to flee on foot
Dashcam footage has captured the moment a police officer was rammed off the road by a banned driver during a high-speed chase.
Sergeant Dave Roberts said he almost died after the incident on February 16 while pursuing Nathan Ferguson in a police car on the A19 between North Tyneside and County Durham.
The 24-year-old sent the car spinning after it tried to block him off and later managed to escape two other vehicles after jumping two sets of red lights and driving his tipper van the wrong way along a slip road.
Sgt Roberts, a Motor Patrols officer with 30 years’ experience, suffered whiplash injuries to his head, neck and chest due to the impact of the collision, which caused his vehicle to spin off the road.
Ferguson later abandoned his van near Hylton Bridge in Sunderland and fled on foot – but was later arrested after he was located on the roof of a house in Pennywell.
Sergeant Dave Roberts said he almost died after the incident on February 16 while pursuing Nathan Ferguson (pictured) in a police car on the A19 between North Tyneside and County Durham
The 24-year-old sent the car (pictured after the collision) spinning after it tried to block him off
Ferguson, of Broadway, Gateshead, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on July 19 and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving without insurance and assault causing actual bodily harm.
He was subsequently jailed for 30 months and handed a 27-month driving disqualification, which comes into effect upon his release from prison.
Chief Superintendent Neil Hutchison, of Northumbria Police’s Operations Department, says Ferguson ‘could have killed’ Sgt Roberts and other members of the public.
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‘This could so easily have been a very different outcome,’ Chief Supt Hutchison said.
‘It is sheer luck that Ferguson is not facing more serious charges as a result of his actions that morning.
‘He endangered the lives of other road users, showing a total disregard for their safety and the law, as he jumped red lights and drove the wrong way on the dual carriageway.
‘Due to the very real danger that he posed to the public, a significant police response was required to attempt to bring his vehicle to a stop. He then deliberately shunted one of our marked vehicles off the road, sending it spinning onto the embankment.
‘As a result of this collision, Sgt Roberts sustained significant whiplash injuries – in my 25 years of policing, it is one of the most dangerous pieces of driving that I have ever seen.’
Chief Supt Hutchison continued: ‘It was imperative that Ferguson was brought to justice for his crimes and I am pleased that he now begins a lengthy custodial term, as well as a significant road ban.
‘Every day, our officers come to work to protect the communities we serve – and they do so knowing they may have to risk their own safety in order to keep others safe.
‘I would like to thank all those who played their part in the successful apprehension of Ferguson, in particular Sgt Roberts who showed outstanding bravery and dedication to protecting others.
‘This type of dangerous and reckless behaviour will never be tolerated, and we will do everything we can to remove dangerous drivers from our roads.’
Dash cam footage of the high-speed chase shows Sgt Roberts car attempt to block off the tipper van
However, Ferguson then pulls up to the left of the vehicle and shunted it in the back
This caused the car to spin off the road into a nearby green verge as Ferguson then continued to race off
Sgt Roberts, suffered whiplash injuries to his head, neck and chest due to the impact of the collision
Once Ferguson’s disqualification period has expired, he must also sit an extended re-test should he ever wish to drive lawfully again in the future.
Sergeant Roberts said he feels lucky to still be alive after what happened that day.
He said: ‘As police officers, we come to work knowing that we may have to risk our own safety to protect the wider public.
‘However, I’ve never been involved in an incident where the offender showed such a total disregard for the potential consequences. He hit my police vehicle at 50mph – reckless in the knowledge of what would happen next.
‘I often find myself awake at night thinking about what happened that day. It’s not being dramatic to say that I could have been killed – I feel lucky to be alive.
‘The embankment at the side of the road was such that it cushioned and slowed my vehicle as it left the carriageway. Had it been a downhill slope from the road, the car would have overturned.
‘His actions were such that he was prepared to take my life, when it was my sworn duty and sole intention to use my training and years of experience to bring the pursuit to a safe and peaceful conclusion.’
In a manoeuvre to help protect the driver himself and other road users, Sgt Roberts moved in front of Ferguson on the A19 in a bid to slow him down – as further police resources followed behind the offending van.
Sgt Roberts added: ‘As I was struck and moving in the carriageway, I was very aware of what may happen next and I am not afraid to say that I was scared.
‘All officers begin duty with the expectation that they can return to their families once that duty is complete. For the first time, on that day, I feared that might not be possible.
‘Thankfully I’ve received some amazing support from colleagues and services within the Force, and while the events of that day will be something I never forget, I’m proud to be back out on the roads doing what I love – protecting the public.
‘We all have a shared responsibility to keep our roads as safe as they possibly can be.
‘I hope my experiences help others take note and reaffirm that we – as police officers – are there to help reduce the number of serious or fatal collisions that rip families apart.’
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