Hunt for death-crash driver who fled in patrol car

A driver jumped a set of red lights and crashed into another car, killing a retired army officer, then fled by stealing the police car in which he was put while the lone officer tried to help the other victim.

The accident happened as a police car followed a Ford Fiesta XR2 which was doing more than 70mph in a 30mph area of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, early yesterday, police said. As the Fiesta approached the set of red lights the driver accelerated past a queue of stationary traffic and crashed into the side of a Peugeot 406 driven by Peter Walpole, 60, who died shortly afterwards in Barnsley hospital.

The injured driver of the Fiesta was put in the back of the police car while the officer attempted to help Mr Walpole, but he commandeered the vehicle and drove off, hitting the officer as he tried to intervene. Police believe they know the identity of the driver and were last night attempting to trace him. The police car was found abandoned 15 miles from the crash scene.

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