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Last Updated: Friday, 12 May 2006, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Inquiry as stolen car kills woman
Scene of crash.  Photo: North News and Pictures
One woman died in the crash and three other people were injured
An inquiry has begun after a stolen car being pursued by police hit a group of people, killing a Tyneside grandmother.

Pamela Phinn was hit in Horsley Hill Road, South Shields. Her two grandchildren and a 28-year-old woman were also injured.

The police pursuit began on Thursday afternoon when a Honda Civic was allegedly "carjacked" by an armed man. One person has been arrested.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the crash.

IPCC commissioner Nicholas Long said: "Our investigation will seek to establish whether the pursuit that led to her death was in line with driving procedures laid down by Northumbria Police Force and whether any actions could have been taken to prevent this tragic death."

Floral tributes

Police in a marked vehicle had been following the car after a motorist reported he had been forced out of it in Western Approach by a man carrying a weapon.

It then collided with two parked cars before hitting the women and children.

Mrs Phinn, who worked in Asda in South Shields, was thrown into the air and died on the opposite side of the street.

Asda store manager Debbie Carnell said staff were struggling to come to terms with the loss.

She said: "We are absolutely devastated. Pamela was loved by everyone in the store and our hearts go out to her family."

Floral tributes have been left at the site of the crash.

The card on one bouquet read: "To Auntie Pam, I ask myself why? Just a beautiful considerate person, warm-hearted and generous, will miss you loads."

Another bouquet read: "A very special person, from all your friends and colleagues at Asda, South Shields."

Eyewitnesses describe hearing the crash


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