Three adults and baby killed in crash following police pursuit
Independent investigation launched by conduct office to establish actions of officers involved
FOUR people, including a father and his one-year-old baby, have died after their vehicle was in collision with a car driven by a motorist who had been involved in a police pursuit.
Traffic officers had been following a black VW Golf through the Sheffield suburb of Darnall on Friday night, that collided with the VW Touran.
It is believed the people carrier was preparing to turn right into a residential street when the collision happened. The driver of the Touran died instantly, along with a 50-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman. The baby later died in hospital, despite the efforts of an off-duty midwife to save him.
Three other passengers were taken to hospital with serious injuries. A three-year-old girl was fighting for her life last night while a 22-year-old woman was in critical condition. The three men aged 23, 17 and 18 who were travelling in the Golf were arrested and were in custody last night. They suffered minor injuries, according to police.
Iqbal Khan, 69, a witness, said: “I heard a car travelling really fast and a loud bang, which I thought was fireworks.
“I had heard police sirens for quite a while in the area and there were six or seven police cars immediately on the scene of the crash.”
Miss Khan said locals believe the family in the people carrier were Slovakian and the three men arrested in the Golf were from the Manor estate in Sheffield.
She said: “It’s horrific that four innocent lives have been lost.
“A midwife who lives up the road tried to resuscitate the baby. She is all shaken up at the moment.”
Adam Robinson, 24, a warehouseman, said: “I heard sirens coming down the road and know the car they were chasing must have been going fast because of how loud the bang was when it crashed – it sounded like a gun going off. I looked out of my upstairs bedroom window and saw loads of police cars that were there very rapidly. Then ambulances and fire engines arrived.”
All the vehicles were removed from the scene but a police cordon remained in place last night.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has launched an investigation.
The IOPC confirmed last night that it had already reviewed dash-cam footage of the crash from a police car and said “there is no indication that the police vehicle collided with either of the vehicles involved”.
Miranda Biddle, the IOPC regional director, said: “As soon as we were informed, we sent investigators to the scene and we will be carrying out an independent investigation to establish what actions South Yorkshire Police took prior to the crash.
“This is standard procedure when lives are lost following an incident involving the police.”
The IOPC said it had spoken to the officers involved and taken statements.
Det Ch Insp Jude Ashmore, of South Yorkshire Police, said she was thinking of the victims’ families following the “incredibly tragic accident”.
“Our priority now is to support the victims’ families and those affected, and work hard to determine the exact circumstances around what happened,” she said.
Residents of Darnell expressed their sadness at the tragedy. Jennifer Mohammed Jones said: “This is heart breaking, incredibly upsetting. I can’t imagine what friends and families are going through.”
Police at the scene of the fatal crash in Sheffield, South Yorks, and, above, an aerial view following the incident in which four people lost their lives