Three die in police car chases over the weekend

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The Independent Online

Three deaths during police chases at the weekend, including that of a 14-year-old boy, are to be investigated by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA).

The boy, John Smith, had crashed his stolen car into a lorry as he was being followed by a marked police car. The teenager, from Malvern, Worcestershire, failed to stop for a patrol on the A44 Worcester- Evesham road, early on Saturday. His 15-year-old passenger suffered severe injuries.

Peter Neyroud, Deputy Chief Constable of West Mercia Police, said: "Any road death is a matter of concern but, in view of the ages of those involved, this incident is particularly tragic. My thoughts and sympathies are with their families at this time."

A West Midlands Air Ambulance spokesman said: "We landed in a nearby field. The driver was clearly already dead and the roof had been cut off the car so the trapped passenger could be removed. He was unconscious and had serious head injuries and multiple fractures."

Sylvia Kimberley, 78, said the sound of the crash was deafening. "I remember thinking that it was so loud it didn't sound like a car, so it must have been going ever so fast," she said. "The driver of the lorry didn't seem hurt because he was walking round. He didn't look very old and I heard someone say he had gone into shock.

"I feel very sorry for him and the boy who died. He'd stolen a car but he was somebody's child. It is very sad."

The two others who died in a separate police chase were Andrew Smith and Tom Gardiner, both in their twenties. Their Ford Escort cabriolet hit a lamppost on a bridge in Bristol Road, Gloucester. Police said two uniformed officers in an unmarked car pursued the men when they failed to stop in nearby Park Road just after midnight. The two men were pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers referred the crashes to the independent PCA.

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