It occurred at around 7pm on Saturday 5 January 2013 in West Tanfield, North of Ripon.
The officer was responding to an emergency (999) call at the time when the patrol vehicle collided with a tree.
Tragically, the officer driving the vehicle, who was the sole occupant, was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision.
Temporary Chief Constable Tim Madgwick said:
This is terrible and tragic news and the thoughts of everyone at North Yorkshire Police are with the officer’s family at this sad and very difficult time. The officers immediate family have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.
Everyone is shocked and saddened by the news of his death and I speak for every member of the force in extending our heartfelt sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues.
A full investigation will be carried out to determine the exact circumstances which led to the collision. The road was closed for several hours on Saturday night to allow collision investigators to examine the scene, the Health and Safety Executive have also been informed.
Anyone who was in the area at the time and saw the vehicle or witnessed the collision is asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 101.