Investigation into Raunds double fatal where suicidal man and lorry driver died finds police officers acted 'appropriately'

One of the drivers had told a family member that he intended to kill himself
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

A police watchdog investigation into a double fatal near Raunds has concluded that officers “acted appropriately”.

DAF truck driver Paul Straker from Hertfordshire, aged 40, and Ford Kuga driver Mark Meagan, 52, both died at the scene of the collision on the A45 close to its junction with the A14 and Thrapston, at about 1pm on March 1, 2023. The road was closed in both directions for nearly 12 hours.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As Northamptonshire Police officers were responding to welfare concerns regarding Mr Meagan, the police force referred itself to the police watchdog – the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The collision happened on the A45 near Raunds close to the A14 junction.The collision happened on the A45 near Raunds close to the A14 junction.
The collision happened on the A45 near Raunds close to the A14 junction.

The inquests into Mr Meagan and Mr Straker’s deaths were held on Monday (April 8). The coroner returned a verdict of suicide for Mr Meagan. Mr Straker’s cause of death was recorded was as “unlawful killing”.

Following the conclusion of the inquests, the IOPC has published its findings from the investigation, which completed in October 2023.

An IPOC spokesman said: “After concerns were reported about Mr Meagan’s welfare on the morning of March 1 police attended his home address, but he wasn’t present. The police incident log shows he was then treated as a high-risk missing person. ANPR checks were carried out and officers dispatched to try to locate him.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Police became aware Mr Meagan had told a family member he intended to kill himself and when a police officer spoke to him on his mobile shortly before 1pm he stated that he ‘would ram any police cars that try to stop him’. Police officers encountered the fatal collision scene at 1.05pm.

“The investigation established that police knew that Mr Meagan had threatened to end his life and were actively trying to locate him to check on his welfare. However, they were unable to find him prior to the collision.

"The investigation found there were no police cars in the vicinity at the time and location of the collision. Dashcam footage from the first police car to arrive at the scene shows it came from the opposite direction Mr Meagan was travelling in and approximately three minutes after the collision. Other footage shows Mr Meagan’s car cross the carriageway into oncoming traffic and collide with the HGV.”

IOPC regional director Derrick Campbell added: “I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the families and friends of both Mr Meagan and Mr Straker who died in this tragic incident.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The evidence suggests the police staff and officers involved all made a conscious effort in trying to locate Mr Meagan and were proactive in following lines of enquiry, in accordance with the force missing person’s policy and national guidance. The investigation treated police officers as witnesses throughout and found no indication anyone behaved in a manner that would justify any disciplinary proceedings.”

IOPC investigators attended the scene of the collision, viewed dashcam footage, reviewed telephone calls, police airwaves and incident logs, and obtained witness statements from officers involved in dealing with this incident.

The investigation examined the police response to calls concerning Mr Meagan’s welfare, the actions and decisions of officers and staff in relation to locating him and whether relevant national and local policies and procedures were followed. It concluded that officers had acted “appropriately”.

Call Samaritans 116 123 for support.