Police watchdog update on investigation into horror crash which killed Tommy Sharp and Paddy Connors

Paddy Connors, left, and Tommy Sharp

An unmarked police vehicle did not ram the car carrying two friends during a police chase before the crash that killed them, investigators have revealed.

The police watchdog has given an update on the investigation into the tragedy of Paddy Connors, 36, and Tommy Sharp, 29.

The pair lost their lives when a Mercedes C Class they were travelling in crashed into two other cars in Frederick Road, Salford, on the evening of September 23.

Tommy Sharp

Just before the horror crash, the Mercedes was involved in a pursuit by an unmarked police car that 'lasted less than one minute' along Lower Broughton Street and Frederick Road, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has confirmed.

But the IOPC has now revealed that the unmarked car, an Audi, did not come into any physical contact with the Mercedes during the short chase - meaning there was no tactical contact used by the police nor did officers attempt to ram the Mercedes off the road.

Paddy Connors

The IOPC Regional Director Amanda Rowe said: “We are continuing to independently investigate a fatal road traffic collision in Salford on 23 September following a Greater Manchester Police (GMP) pursuit.

Our investigators have been gathering evidence including dashcam footage from the police car, footage from the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter as well as body worn video from the police officers who responded to the incident, who are all being treated as witnesses.

IOPC Regional Director Amanda Rowe

She continued: “As a result of viewing and analysing this substantial amount of footage, we can therefore verify there was no direct contact between the GMP unmarked police car and the Mercedes that Paddy Connors and Tommy Sharp were travelling in prior to the collision.

“We are working hard to establish the facts and piece together the sequence of events. Our thoughts continue to be with Mr Connors’ and Mr Sharp’s families and all those affected at this difficult time.”

Initial inquiries have shown an unmarked police car - an Audi - activated its emergency lights and siren to signal to the Mercedes to stop, said the IOPC in October.

Frederick Road

At around 11.40pm that night, the Mercedes then collided with two cars, both Volkswagen Passats, which were driving in the opposite direction.

The driver of the first Passat escaped injury, but the driver of the second VW, a taxi, suffered minor injuries.

Two women who were passengers in the back were taken to hospital with serious injuries now not thought to be life-threatening, the IOPC added.

Inquests into the deaths were opened on October 1 and have been adjourned.In the wake of the crash, social media was flooded with tributes and pictures of the two men.

Married father-of-two Tommy, was from Salford. He was nicknamed 'Mush' and was described as 'the life of the party' and a 'loving and caring dad, husband, brother and uncle'.

Paddy, who leaves a wife and four children, lived in Wigan. A relative said: "It's a very big loss for us all. He was a kind, loving, easy-going person.

"Everyone loved Paddy."

The funerals of the two friends were attended by scores of friends and family. Chief Constable Ian Hopkins has defended his officers' decisions to stand back and allow large wakes to take place for the two dads, despite complaints.

Greater Manchester Police said the Mercedes was 'observed being driven at speed'.No arrests have been made.