AN inquest has been opened into the death of a popular Cumbrian police officer who died in an M6 crash tragedy last month.
PC Nick Dumphreys, aged 47, died after the marked patrol car he was driving left the southbound motorway carriageway between junctions 44 and 43. The one-vehicle crash occurred at around 2pm on Sunday, 26th January – 13 days before the officer’s 48th birthday.
PC Dumphreys had joined Cumbria Constabulary in 2003, working for the majority of his time with the force’s Mobile Support Group. He had been based in Penrith and Brampton, and most recently at Durranhill, Carlisle.
Born in South Africa, he was married to Kat – also a police officer – and was described by his family after the tragedy as a “kind and loving husband and father”, and a “larger than life character who loved his job and adored his children”.
PC Dumphreys’ funeral service was held in Carlisle on Monday, and was attended by hundreds of people including police officers and members of other emergency services.
Cumbria area coroner Kirsty Gomersal opened an inquest into the officer’s death in Cockermouth this morning (WED), and stated a post mortem examination had concluded the case of his death was a severe head injury.
“The circumstances of Mr Dumphreys’ death are well publicised, but in essence he was travelling in a marked police car southbound on the M6 between junctions 44 and 43,” said the coroner. “He was the driver of the vehicle which left the road.”
The brief inquest opening hearing was adjourned by the coroner in order that further enquiries could be made, and a provisional conclusion date was listed for 3rd July.
Speaking after PC Dumphreys’ death, Cumbria’s Chief Constable, Michelle Skeer, paid tribute, saying: “Colleagues who worked closely with him would describe him as a consummate professional who you could always rely on. He was a big character with an even bigger heart who always put other people first.”
A Cumbria police spokesman said after the collision that an investigation was under way with support from a neighbouring force.