Eye witnesses describe fatal car chase along M55

The car was left badly damaged in the crash at the end of the M55
The car was left badly damaged in the crash at the end of the M55
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Witnesses today spoke of their horror after a driver was flung from his car as a police chase ended in death.

A Renault Captur ‘took off’ after it hurtled into the Helter Skelter roundabout at the end of the M55.

Damage to the sculpture on the roundabout at Yeadon way following a road traffic accident.

Damage to the sculpture on the roundabout at Yeadon way following a road traffic accident.

The driver, in his 50s, suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene on Wednesday night. Lancashire Police has referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which has launched an investigation.

One eye-witness today described scenes of carnage as ‘like a scene from a TV show’.

Garage boss Andy Speariett said: “The car took off and hit the steel structure at the top of the roundabout.

“It spun around – there was wreckage everywhere – and landed at the other side of the roundabout.”

There was so much blood. It was horrendous

Michelle Tighe

*It is understood the driver of the car failed to respond to a police request to stop, leading to a brief pursuit along the westbound side of the M55.

Michelle Tighe was in her BMW with her 15-year-old daughter – just metres away when the crash happened.

She said: “There was so much blood. It was horrendous.

“Seeing the damage made me realise how lucky I am to be alive. Me and my daughter could have been killed.”

She said her car was struck by debris from the collision –possibly from the now-mangled ‘Helter Skelter’ sculpture on the roundabout – leaving them both shaken up.

The Gazette understands the car was spotted by police at around 9pm. A chase ensued but ended minutes later. Paramedics were called at 9.07pm.

An IPCC spokesman said: “The IPCC has begun an independent investigation 
after a 54-year-old man died following a police pursuit in Blackpool on Wednesday evening.

“PCC investigators were deployed overnight following a referral from Lancashire Constabulary and an investigation is underway.”

The driver, from Accrington, has not been named. Police did not say what sparked the chase.

Mr Speariett, who owns the WSC car body repair shop in Ribbleton, Preston, was driving home with his wife and three children when he witnessed the crash.

The 48-year-old, said: “I looked left and saw this car coming at speed. It just went bang, straight over the roundabout.”

The motorway was closed for around 10 hours following the crash. Nobody else was in the car at the time of the collision.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “This collision has cost someone their life and our thoughts are with his family at this time.

“We immediately referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

“This is standard practice following a death after police contact.”

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