Two dead in London police chase after car drives down wrong side of road
Officers say they did not follow the vehicle into oncoming traffic
Two people have died after a car being chased by police drove on the wrong side of a main road and crashed into a coach in London.
Police said a male and a female travelling inside the Renault car on the A40 in Acton were killed at about 9pm on Sunday night. A third occupant, a man, was taken to hospital.
Officers responding to reports of an aggravated burglary in Harrow, northwest London, had begun the chase with the help of a police helicopter about 20 minutes earlier.
The Renault moved into oncoming traffic on the A40 at about 9pm and crashed with a coach at the junction of Kingsdown Avenue, Acton.
The Metropolitan Police said its vehicles did not follow the car being pursued onto the wrong side of the road.
There were no reports of any other serious injuries and details of the number of people on the coach have not been released.
On social media, witnesses recalled the moments before the collision.
Twitter user Itsmissli said: “The coach they crashed into was right behind me. So shaken, all I saw was instant flames!”
After the accident, the London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade were called to the scene and roads in the area were closed.
The Directorate of Professional Standards and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) have been informed, Scotland Yard said.
Last month, the IOPC said fatalities and serious injuries following pursuits were “thankfully rare” as it investigated four fatal incidents involving patrol cars across the country.
The crash comes weeks after PCSO Holly Burke was fatally injured by an alleged hit-and-run driver who struck her car while being chased by police in the West Midlands on 22 January.
On the same day, a 26-year-old refugee from Eritrea died after being hit by a police car responding to a 999 call in east London.
Jessie Whitehead, 74, was riding a mobility scooter when she was hit by a marked police car as it responded to an emergency in Bedworth, Warwickshire, and Paul Radcliffe, 18, was killed by a car which had failed to stop for police in Oadby, Leicestershire, on 19 January.
Additional reporting by PA