Man arrested after police car chase kills two pedestrians

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Two pedestrians were killed and a third critically injured when a car being pursued by police left the road as it tried to take a bend.

Two pedestrians were killed and a third critically injured when a car being pursued by police left the road as it tried to take a bend.

The women were hit by a white BMW as they walked home after a night out in Huddersfield. A fourth woman leapt over a wall to safety.

Reports yesterday said the car had been stopped by police in the town's red-light area shortly before the crash at 11pm on Monday. A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said a female passenger had got out of the car and left the scene before she could be questioned. The driver sped off as officers were about to speak to him.

The spokesman said: "The BMW was seen to travel at speed on to Willow Lane. The police vehicle initially followed it but lost sight of it as it entered Willow Lane. It was then involved in a serious accident."

Aman from Huddersfield has been arrested and is being questioned. Police are appealing for the woman who was in the car to come forward.

Officers said the accident "wasn't a police chase" and that the Vauxhall Astra patrol car had briefly lost track of the BMW. The incident has been voluntarily referred to the Police Complaints Authority.

The driver of the BMW apparently lost control on a tight left-hand bend near Huddersfield's Ringway industrial centre. The car hit a soft-drinks depot before carrying on along a footpath, where it struck one of the women, who had left the nearby Slubbers Arms pub. The car veered across the road, where it hit a second woman, before crossing a T-junction and stopping against a church wall.

Derek Smith, whose house is at the accident scene, said: "I heard a car screeching round the corner outside. It was really flying. Seconds later, there were two loud bangs. I heard police sirens. I got up and ran downstairs to see what was going on. As I got closer, I could see it was far more serious than I first thought.

"Then I saw the women lying on the pavement. It was an horrific scene and a sight I will never forget as long as I live."

The women are all understood to be in their late 20s and to have moved recently to West Yorkshire from the North-east.

Two were fatally injured and one is in a serious condition in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. The woman who jumped to safety was shocked but unhurt.

The dead women were ateacher aged 28 from Chester-le-Street, Co Durham, and a 30-year-old from Durham, who worked for the NHS. The critically injured woman, 27, is a school teacher from the North-west. The fourth woman is also aged 28 and from Chester-le-Street. All four recently moved to Huddersfield.