Baby dies after police crash kills pregnant mother

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The Independent Online

A baby born by Caesarean section after her parents were killed in a crash with a police patrol car has lost her fight for life.

The child's heavily pregnant mother was dead on arrival at a hospital in Kilmarnock after the collision on a straight stretch of road on Saturday night. The newborn baby was transferred to the neonatal unit at Ayrshire Central Hospital in Irvine, but died yesterday afternoon. Two police officers suffered minor injuries in the crash.

Lisa Scott, 30, who was eight months pregnant, was drivingher husband Duncan, 28, in their Ford Fiesta when they collided with the marked police car in Irvine at 11.45pm. Mr Scott was pronounced dead at the scene and Mrs Scott was taken to Crosshouse Hospital but was dead on arrival. Police are investigating the cause of the accident, which happened two weeks after the announcement of a record death toll involving police cars last year.

The police patrol car was not involved a pursuit and was not flashing its lights or sounding its siren.

Mr and Mrs Scott lived in the Girdle Toll area of Irvine. Tom Barr, who represents Woodlands North and Girdle Toll on North Ayrshire Council, said: "It is quite a large area but when something as tragic as this happens it will have an effect on the community. People will be shocked when they discover what's happened. It's dreadful."

He said the scene was not known to residents as an accident blackspot. "You certainly don't hear about a lot of accidents happening there," Mr Barr said,.

Strathclyde Police are investigating the accident and are asking witnesses to contact them on 01292 664 098. An incident room has been set up.

A spokesman for Strathclyde Police said: "Lisa Scott was eight months' pregnant and her baby was born by Caesarean section. The baby girl, who was delivered at Crosshouse Hospital, died earlier this afternoon.

"A full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash will be carried out and a report sent to the procurator fiscal."

The crash comes amid rising concerns about the death toll involving police cars. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said two weeks ago the number of people killed in accidents involving police cars was 44 in 2004-05, compared with 36 the previous year. In 2000-01, 17 such deaths were recorded.

During the past year, six deaths involved police vehicles answering 999 calls, 23 were in pursuit, and 15 were listed as "other".

Announcing the figures, Nick Hardwick, the chairman of the IPCC, said: "We are concerned about the rise in the number of road traffic-related deaths. This year there was a larger number of people killed but in a lower number of incidents."

A 13-year-old girl was the youngest person to die and the oldest was a 90-year-old woman in Lancashire.

Last month Rachel Cheesewright, 29, a pub worker, was killed in a crash with a police car answering a 999 call at Bethersden, near Ashford, Kent.

There has also been concern about the number of police cars which are speeding while not on emergency calls. In May, a West Mercia Police officer, Mark Milton, was cleared of dangerous driving after he told Ludlow magistrates' court that he was driving at 159mph while "familiarising" himself with his new squad car.

At the end of last month, Scotland Yard published a new set of guidelines for officers, telling them when they must abide by the speed limit.

They have been told they must not speed on their way to routine briefings, nor on their way to cafés or restaurants for mealbreaks.