Peacehaven crash: Criminal investigation opened into officer after man hit by police car

peacehaven rtc
A police cordon in place in Peacehaven

A Sussex Police officer is under investigation for causing death by dangerous driving after a 27-year-old man died after being hit by a police car.

Arthur Holscher-Ermert was on foot when the crash happened on the A259 South Coast Road at about 11.10pm on Saturday 30 April. He was confirmed dead at the scene in Peacehaven a short time later.

The incident was automatically referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for investigation, which has now said it has opened a criminal investigation.

A police constable has been told he is under investigation for the offence of causing death by dangerous driving.

An IOPC spokesperson explained a criminal investigation does not necessarily mean charges will follow.

Arthur Holscher-Ermert died at the scene of the crash in Peacehaven

At the end of the investigation the watchdog will decide whether to refer a file to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider whether the officer should be prosecuted. The officer will also be investigated for potential gross misconduct.

The IOPC said information it has gathered so far indicates Mr Holscher-Ermert was driving an Audi before the collision, which was being pursued by a police car after it came to the attention of officers conducting an operation in the Newhaven and Peacehaven area.

The watchdog said it understands the short pursuit ended in Bramber Avenue, where Mr Holscher-Ermert left the Audi and was struck moments later by a different unmarked police vehicle.

IOPC regional director Graham Beesley said: “Our thoughts are with Mr Holscher-Ermert’s family, and with everyone else who was involved in this tragic incident and has been affected by his death.

“We have provided his family with an update into the progress of our investigation and we will be meeting with them soon.

“As well as investigating the collision we are also examining the events leading up to it and police actions in the immediate aftermath.

“It is important we establish why Mr Holscher-Ermert was being pursued by the police including what, if any, information the police had about him or the vehicle he was driving.

“We will also consider whether the actions of officers afterwards were in line with policy and procedure. This will include looking at the aftercare given to him.

"We are aware of reports handcuffs were applied to Mr Holscher-Ermert at the scene and this will form part of our investigation.

“We understand the concern this incident has caused in the community and I would like to reassure everyone that we will carry out a thorough and independent investigation to establish exactly what happened and why.”

The IOPC is still appealing for anyone with information that may assist investigators to come forward. It would also like to hear from anyone with mobile phone or other footage they may have recorded that may be relevant.

Anyone with information is urged to call 0300 3035612 or email as soon as possible.