THE decision over whether a police officer will be charged in relation to a crash which left one motorist dead could take 'years'.

A 53-year-old man, who has not been named, died a few days after the collision with an unmarked police car on the northbound A449 near Hartlebury on May 28 last year.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) completed its investigations into the incident in January before referring the case to the Crown Prosecution Service.

But a CPS spokesman told the Worcester News yesterday it could be a long time before there are any developments with the case, while the IOPC has refused to name the officer unless charges are brought.

The probe was launched to decide whether the officer's driving was in accordance with force policy.

"We haven’t been advised of any decision yet by the CPS, so consideration is still with them," said an IOPC spokesman.

The investigation report was sent after more than seven months to West Mercia Police and the CPS to help determine whether or not disciplinary proceedings and/or charges should follow.

“Our investigation into a collision on the A449 in Hartlebury, Worcestershire after which a 53-year-old man died in hospital was completed in January," said the spokesman.

"Our report has been sent to West Mercia Police to determine whether or not disciplinary proceedings should follow, and shared with HM Coroner to assist a future inquest.

"We have also made a referral to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider any potential criminal charges in relation to one officer. We continue to keep the man’s family informed of our progress.”

The spokesman went on to add that a referral to the CPS does not necessarily mean criminal charges will follow or that an offence has been committed.

The CPS are deciding whether charges should be brought, based on the guidelines set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

At the time of the crash, eye witness Andrea Rea described the collision as “horrendous” and said the police vehicle was “smashed up at the front and the other vehicle was on its roof”.

The ambulance service said the casualty had suffered a cardiac arrest, and was initially treated at the scene by an off-duty doctor and nurse.

The two officers in the unmarked car were not injured.

The officer was responding to an emergency call, though it is unclear if the sirens were being sounded.

Chief Inspector Sharon Cannings initially confirmed to the Worcester News the incident had been referred to the IOPC.