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Police force investigated over fatal crash during pursuit

Kieran O'Brien, 38, was critically injured when the Peugeot 208 he was driving crashed in Runcorn, Cheshire, on August 1. Photo: PA

An investigation has been launched into the death of a man whose car crashed into a wall during a police pursuit.

Kieran O'Brien, 38, was critically injured when the Peugeot 208 he was driving crashed in Runcorn, Cheshire, on August 1.

He was taken to hospital and transferred to the Walton Centre, which specialises in neurology, but his life support was switched off on Thursday, a spokesman for the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

The spokesman said said Mr O'Brien failed to stop for Cheshire Police officers in Frodsham at about 11.30pm and early indications suggested the car was pursued for 18 minutes before it crashed into a wall.

The incident was referred to the police watchdog by the force and an independent investigation is now under way.

IOPC regional director Amanda Rowe said:

Our investigation will look at all circumstances related to the pursuit, including the decision-making by Cheshire Police and what happened during the period when the car was followed.

"We have gathered evidence such as dash cam footage from the police vehicles involved and have received initial accounts from the officers involved in the pursuit. We will also conduct house-to-house inquiries near where the incident took place.

"We have made contact with Mr O'Brien's family to explain our role and offer our support. Our thoughts are with Mr O'Brien's friends and family, and anyone affected by this incident. Initial discussions have also taken place with the coroner's office and a post-mortem will be carried out as soon as possible."

– Amanda Rowe