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Friday, 21 December, 2001, 04:10 GMT
Car smash prisoner recaptured
A remand prisoner on the run after the Group 4 vehicle transporting him was involved in a fatal road crash has been recaptured, Bedfordshire police said.

Rodney Buckley, 21, escaped on Thursday evening following a multi-vehicle crash on the A421 in Great Barford, Bedfordshire, in which a man driving a Vauxhall died.

But Mr Buckley was rearrested close to the accident scene after police tracked him with helicopters and dogs.

The Prison Service said five other prisoners in the escort vehicle assisted at the scene and were all accounted for.

Cut free

Bedfordshire and Luton Fire Service said the prison van was in collision with a Vauxhall car and a Peugeot car.

A spokeswoman said the Vauxhall motorist died from his injuries and the driver of the Peugeot had to be cut free by fire crews, while a passenger was already out of the car.

A spokesman for Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Ambulance Service said: "A driver of one of the cars involved was unfortunately deceased, declared dead at the scene.

"The driver and the passenger of the other two cars were taken to Bedfordshire Hospital. The injuries are not life-threatening."

Group 4 spokesman John Bates said there were six prisoners, including Buckley, from HMP Bedford, and two guards.

Extra staff

He said: "I understand the two members of staff and two of the prisoners suffered injuries but I believe they are not serious.

"They have been taken to hospital and we have sent extra staff to help with security.

"We are also being assisted by the Prison Service and local police.

"There will be a full police accident investigation and an inquiry into the exact circumstances of this tragic incident and we will assist in every way possible."

Mr Bates said the van was taking the prisoners from court to a prison.

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