Tributes have been paid to a young Spalding police officer who lost her life nine years ago this week after driving home from her first night shift.
PC Stacey Pyke tragically lost her just five days fter fulfilling her dream of becoming a police constable with the Lincolnshire force. She was just 20 years old.
Stacey was a very beautiful, focused, caring, fun loving young woman, and a very proud dad she made meDad Dave Pyke
She had joined in August 2006 and undergone five months’ extensive training. On the morning of January 15, 2007 she was driving home after a nine-hour shift at Spalding Police Station when she was in collision with another car near Market Deeping.
At Stacey’s funeral, at St Peter’s Church in Yaxley on January 24, 2007, more than 400 mourners paid their respects.
In July 2008, Stacey’s mum Sue dedicated a tree in her daughter’s memory at an event organised by the COPS organisation – Care Of Police Survivors – for families of police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. A picture os Stacey still hangs in the police training office.
There is also a picture of her at Bourne police station, where she did some of her training.
The force has named the Student Officer of the Year award after Stacey and her family come to present it every year.
A post on the Facebook page One Police UK said yesterday: “Thinking of her family and friends today. Sleep well colleague.”
Replying to that post, her dad Dave Pyke said: “Such lovely messages from people. Stacey was a very beautiful, focused, caring, fun loving young woman, and a very proud dad she made me.
“What a very sad end to a young person’s life when after only a week in the job she dreamed of and had always wanted to do.”
Cambridgeshire officer Tom Robinson added: “I had the privilege of working with Stacey in her old job while she was joining. Lovely girl who’s dream was to become a PC, Such a shame. Now I am an officer I have visited her tree and paid my respects. Rest easy.”
There were tears at the inquest into her death in March 2007 when the final moments of Stacey’s life were revealed.
Stacey was driving home after finishing her first nine-hour night shift at Spalding Police Station when she “momentarily” fell asleep. When the 20-year-old opened her eyes her car had drifted off the A15 carriage-way near Market Deeping.
In a desperate attempt to get back on the road she oversteered her Renault Megane, causing it to swerve into the path of an oncoming Citron Picasso.
The Citron driver wept as he relived the moment.
Stacey, who joined Lincolnshire Police in August, was driving to her home in Broadway, Yaxley, when the accident happened at 7.12am on January 15.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Gordon Ryall said: “It is a tragic end to what she saw as a bright future.
“The most likely explanation does appear to be that she momentarily fell asleep and as a result drifted off the road.”