Pensioner in four hour wait for 999

Peter Smith, from Euxton, who was almost run down by a driver on Washington Lane and is angry that it took four hours for the police to respond to his 999 call
Peter Smith, from Euxton, who was almost run down by a driver on Washington Lane and is angry that it took four hours for the police to respond to his 999 call
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A terrified pensioner has hit out at police who took almost four hours to respond to an emergency 999 call.

Peter Smith, 69, from Euxton, had to leap into a bush on Wednesday to avoid being hit by a rogue driver who mounted the pavement and came directly towards him.

The grandfather says he took the driver’s registration details after the incident on Washington Lane in Euxton, afraid that the motorist could go on to kill a pedestrian.

But he was left ‘extremely disappointed and saddened’ when police failed to act for up to four hours.

Peter recalled: “I was walking from Chorley towards my home and I turned into Washington Lane. I looked both ways and I started to cross the road.

“Then, I heard very loud engine revs from a car coming down Balshaw Lane towards Chorley.

“I didn’t expect them to turn down the road towards me. I thought they were going to slow down but when I was in the road they turned.

“I ran and the car lost control going around the corner and ended up on two wheels.

“It mounted the pavement and came at me. I ended up in the hedge and the car brushed past my leg.

“I was terrified and crying. Every time I think about it I end up in tears.”

Peter says he then made a 999 call to police, giving them the registration details of the small red car, and was told to return to his home on Kingsway where an officer would be waiting.

He received a phone call half an hour later saying there would be a delay, and again later saying it would be referred to the traffic policing unit, before a local officer arrived at his home three hours and 35 minutes after the emergency call.

He said: “I was told someone would come and take a statement but no one came.

“This car had carried on driving down the pavement for 20 yards after coming at me.

“That road would have been busy with kids coming from Parklands High School at that time. They could have easily gone on to knock down a school child, not just me.”

Peter, who has previously spoken out about how the closure of cells at Leyland Police Station would impact on local policing resources, says he thinks the delays he suffered were because police are tied up taking suspects to and from cells at stations in Preston, Skelmersdale and Blackburn.

He said: “The way that person was driving was as if they were drugged or drunk.

“If that person did have anything like that in their system, it would have gone before the police arrived. I had given them the registration plate so they could have picked them up straight away.

“To say there was no one there to take a statement is no excuse. This stinks.

“The policewoman who eventually came to see me was excellent and very thorough. It wasn’t her fault, she could only come when she was told to.”

Peter says he was later told the driver of the car had been tracked down and would be interviewed five days later.

He said: “I firmly believed my life and other members of the public’s lives were in danger.

“If someone is driving like that they are going to continue to do so. Are they waiting for someone to die?

“That night I couldn’t sleep because every time I tried to close my eyes I saw a car coming towards me.

“It has really got to me. I was just terrified. I don’t know why it makes me so upset but I was frightened.

“This needs to be sorted before someone is seriously hurt.”