Served with Essex Police from March 8, 1982 and died on October 13, 1992.
On the 13th October 1992 Brentwood Traffic-based Police Constable Christopher 'Wiggy' Wiggins was on duty patrolling the M25 motorway with Pc Richard Raker. That evening they responded to a report of a car on fire between junctions 27 (M11) and 28 (A12) (South Weald). On their arrival they found the car well alight on the hard shoulder and so implemented a lane closure, with Chris placing the police vehicle in the fend off position.
Cones were also placed out and the motorway matrix signs operated. Whilst Chris was still in the police car, alone, it was struck by a heavy goods vehicle, causing the police car to burst into flames. He was killed instantly. It was suspected that the driver of the heavy goods vehicle had fallen asleep at the wheel. He was arrested and subsequently convicted of careless driving. He received a two year driving ban and an eighteen month suspended sentence.
Chris was the son of a retired policeman and was only recently married. Writing in late 2001 his widow recalled;
I first knew Chris when he was an area car driver based at Ongar. Whenever we travelled through the area, his knowledge of the surroundings was such, that I was convinced he knew every blade of grass. Work wise, he was conscientious and didn't mind hard work although sometimes lacked confidence. I can only ever once recall him being late for early turn once and that was my fault, I had switched the alarm off - I still detest mornings with a vengeance!
He got beaten up once whilst on duty, thereafter known as ' the battle of the Bell' as it happened to be outside The Bell Public House in Ongar High Street. I know it hurt - in more ways than one - but he wouldn't let me fuss, he just filled out the relevant incident report.
Chris was very pleased when he transferred onto traffic, first to Harlow, before ending up at Brentwood. Being trained as an advanced driver, he loved having the ability to drive well. You have never seen such a broad grin as the one he had upon his return from the VIP driving course he attended over at Boreham Airfield - something to do with the handbrake turns, J turns, and getting bits of rubber in his hair. (What there was left of it after marrying me!!) I asked him once what he would have done if he hadn't joined Essex Police, and he honestly couldn't answer me.
On a personal note, however, the one thing I will always recall him saying one of his philosophy's was that there was no such thing as a bad child, only bad parents. He always had time and endless patience for children, from helping them to ride a bike to sitting with them helping them read. My niece, who was barely five years old at the time of his death, still remembers and mentions him occasionally.
He was considerate, sensitive and very close to his family. His death has left a void, which will never be filled. You come to realise that life does go on, although it is not as if you ever get over it, you just learn to live with it. Things tick along and the years fly by, but it only takes one little, seemingly insignificant, thing to transport you back, or spark the memory of a special moment.