Three die in high-speed police chase

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The Independent Online

Two men and one woman died after their Vauxhall Vectra, which was being pursued by police, struck a garden wall in Oldham, Greater Manchester, yesterday.

A second woman in the car survived the crash and was taken to hospital where her condition last night remained critical. Greater Manchester Police have not yet named the victims but an officer described them as "quite young" and said their car was travelling at "considerable" speed when the collision took place. The incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Shortly before the crash, a police patrol had tried to stop the car in Oldham town centre, but the driver made off and the pursuit began. After entering Middleton Road, Chadderton, the vehicle struck the corner of the front garden wall of an end-of-terrace house and hit two other properties and a parked car. The car eventually came to a halt after spinning round and flipping upside down.

Superintendent Alan Greene said the police pursuit vehicle was some distance from the Vectra when it crashed.

He said: "The vehicle was going at considerable speed, so much so that the police car could not keep up with it.

"The speeds involved are really quite considerable and those in the car appear to be quite young people."

The Vectra initially struck the home of Gareth Burns, 33, who lives in Middleton Road with his wife, Vicki, also 33, and their two young children.

He said: "The police sirens woke my wife and she woke me up. Seconds later we heard a crash and the whole house shook. I knew straight away we had been hit. There have been a few crashes along this road in the last few years.

"There is a dip in the road at the junction with Broadway and you can feel it when you're doing 30mph. If you were doing excessive speed you would probably go airborne."

Mr Burns said the bay window of his house had been dislodged several inches to the right and his front garden was destroyed. His neighbour and father-in-law, Jimmy Gray, 54, added: "This is about the sixth time we have had a crash on this road in the last two years. I heard the bang and the whole house vibrated. I said to my wife, 'it's our house this time'."

Mr Gray, a plumber, added "I went outside and the car was upside down." As a result of the incident, Greater Manchester Police is now facing its second IPCC investigation in a week.

The force's actions in relation to the apparent murders of two-year-old Romario Mullings-Sewell and his three-month-old brother Delayno are also being examined.

The boys were found stabbed to death at their home in Kilmington Drive, Cheetham Hill, on Wednesday following reports of concern for their welfare. Their mother Jael Mullings, 21, was arrested on suspicion of murder and later sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

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