Page last updated at 19:38 GMT, Friday, 29 January 2010

Police assessed over fatal crash in Reading

The scene of the collision in Reading
The couple, a 54-year-old man and his 49-year-old wife, died at the scene

An inquiry has begun after a husband and wife died when their vehicle was in collision with a car that police officers had just begun to follow.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will look at the actions of the officers before the crash, in Reading, on Wednesday night.

A Ford Mondeo went through a red signal and then drove away as officers turned on their blue lights, police have said.

The Mondeo then collided with the rear of the car carrying the couple.

Independent Police Complaints Commission investigators have obtained the police car's in-vehicle video.

Statements taken

The couple, a 54-year-old man and his 49-year-old wife, were pronounced dead at the scene.

In incidents like this the public need to be confident that the actions of the police were as they should be
IPCC commissioner Mike Franklin

Their friends and family have been laying flowers by the road, while the headmaster of a school next to the crash scene, who knew the couple, said they were "very friendly" and "lovely people".

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was informed immediately of the crash and assessors took initial statements from the officers involved.

The IPCC said the assessment had so far established that "at approximately 11.18pm on Wednesday night, officers began following the Mondeo after it went through a red light at the junction of Castle Hill and the Tilehurst Road", a statement said.

"The marked police vehicle activated its emergency equipment," it continued.

"A short distance later at the junction with Western Elms Avenue, the Mondeo collided with the rear of a blue Chevrolet Matiz."

Tributes by the road where the husband and wife died
Friends and family have been laying flowers by the road

IPCC commissioner Mike Franklin added: "After assessing the available information we have decided it is appropriate for the IPCC to manage an investigation, meaning we will direct and control the actions of the investigating Thames Valley officers.

"This decision does not indicate that concerns exist regarding the actions of the police officers involved.

"In incidents like this the public need to be confident that the actions of the police were as they should be."

The occupant of the Mondeo, a 31-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.



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