13-year-old girl killed in south London police chase crash


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The Independent Online

A 13-year-old girl has died in a crash involving a vehicle which was being pursued by police.

The teenager was travelling with her mother, father and brother in Ilderton Road, New Cross, south London yesterday when their Volkswagen Polo and a Peugeot 308 that was being chased by a marked police car collided.

The girl, who was in the rear of the car, died at the scene from her injuries, Scotland Yard said.

Her parents and brother were taken to hospital and their injuries were not thought to be serious.

The male driver of the Peugeot was arrested and taken into custody. A female passenger was taken to hospital suffering from minor injuries.

The incident happened just before 6.30pm and police, ambulance and fire crews attended.

The Metropolitan Police said the pursuing police car had its blue lights and sirens on when the collision happened.

Commander Tony Eastaugh said: "An innocent family are now dealing with the tragic loss of a loved one.

"The Metropolitan Police has now begun a thorough investigation into the circumstances of this terrible incident. The thoughts of our staff and officers are with the family at this time."

Traffic police and officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards are now investigating, the force said.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has also been informed and an investigator was at the scene assessing the circumstances of the collision.

Police later said the collision occurred between New Cross and South Bermondsey, in the borough of Southwark.

Debris had been cleared and traffic was moving at the scene of the crash at a junction in Ilderton Road in south Bermondsey today.

Parents taking their children for the start of term at nearby Ilderton Primary School spoke of their sadness and shock at the death of the 13-year-old.

Michelle Foster, 37, a nursery assistant, from nearby Sharratt Street, who had walked her nine-year-old to school, said: "I am shocked - I heard the news from another mum as we were walking along to school. I feel very, very sorry for the family."

Francis Soares, 52, a porter, who lives in Ilderton Road, said he arrived home last night shortly after the crash happened.

"There were police and ambulances and paramedics," he said.

"It was dark and you could not see what was happening and the whole place was blocked off.

"I am very saddened to hear the news about the 13-year-old girl."

Afza Osman, 37, a full-time mother who had dropped her five-year-old at Ilderton Primary School, said: "It is very, very sad. We cross that road every single day."

The scene of the crash - between an industrial estate and a railway line - is close to Millwall Football Club's stadium.