Three adults and baby killed in crash fol­low­ing po­lice pur­suit

In­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion launched by con­duct of­fice to es­tab­lish ac­tions of of­fi­cers in­volved

The Sunday Telegraph - - Crime - By Katie French

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

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