A40 crash: Two dead as car ploughs into coach following police pursuit in west London – Evening Standard

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A40 crash: Two dead as car ploughs into coach following police pursuit in west London – Evening Standard

Two people are dead after a car crashed into a coach following a police pursuit in west London.

The Metropolitan Police said officers responded to reports of an aggravated burglary in Harrow, north-west London on Sunday night. 

A police pursuit began, with a police helicopter also called to assist at about 8.40pm.

About 20 minutes later at 9pm, the vehicle being pursued moved on to the wrong side of the carriageway on the A40 and crashed into a coach near the junction of Kingsdown Avenue, Acton.

A male and a female were pronounced dead at the scene, while a second man was taken to hospital for treatment. All three were occupants of the vehicle being pursued.

It is not known how many people were on the coach but no other serious injuries were reported.

Scotland Yard said police did not follow the vehicle when it drove on to the wrong side of the road.

Police at the scene of the A40 crash in west London (Nigel Howard)

A local resident named Lucy described seeing the car “burst into flames” after it crashed through railings into the coach.

Another witness said she had to swerve out the way of the car as it drove in the wrong direction.

Writing on Twitter, Hina said she saw the car going the wrong way down the A40, adding: “I was driving westbound and had to swerve out of the way when the car came speeding towards me.”

Others said they saw “instant flames” after the car hit the coach just metres away from them and said they had “never seen so many emergency services vehicles” responding to an incident.

Road closures remain in place in the area on Monday morning, and London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade are on the scene.

Scotland Yard said the Directorate of Professional Standards and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) had been informed of the incident.

Last month, the IOPC said fatalities and serious injuries following pursuits were “thankfully rare” as it investigated four separate fatal incidents involving patrol cars across the country over the course of a week.

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 January 22, while a 26-year-old refugee from Eritrea died after being hit by a police car responding to a 999 call in east London on the same day.

Jessie Whitehead, 74, was riding a mobility scooter when she was hit by a marked squad 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 January 19.

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