Boy, 11, in critical condition after being hit by police van in Lancaster
An 11-year-old boy is in a critical condition in hospital after being hit by a police van in Lancaster.
Lancashire Police said the boy was taken to hospital after the incident on Owen Road at just before 8.30pm on Thursday.
The collision happened as the boy was crossing the road and as officers were responding to an emergency call, police said.
The boy, from the local area, was taken to Royal Lancaster Infirmary and later transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool where he remains in a critical condition.
Lancashire Police said an investigation is underway. “Our thoughts are with the child's loved ones at this time,” the force said.
'Thoroughly examine' circumstances
The police watchdog has said it will “thoroughly examine” the circumstances that led to the boy being struck by the police vehicle, which was understood to have its lights and sirens on at the time.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said initial evidence indicates the officer driving had activated his emergency equipment at the time the collision occurred.
Catherine Bates, the regional director at the IOPC, said: “This is an incredibly tragic incident and my thoughts are with the boy, his family and all those affected by the incident.
“There is a mandatory requirement for forces to refer incidents like this to us, which result in death or serious injury, and our investigation will thoroughly examine the circumstances prior to the collision, including whether appropriate policies and procedures were followed.”
'Family supported by specially trained officers'
Chief Superintendent Karen Edwards, divisional commander for west division, said her thoughts and prayers remain with the boy and his family.
She said the collision took place on Owen Road at the junction with Torrisholme Road and involved a marked police Peugeot 308 hatchback which was responding to an emergency call.
Chief Supt Edwards told reporters: “The boy, who is 11 years old and from the local area, was taken by ambulance to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
“He was later transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. He remains in a critical condition.
“As I said, our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time. They’re being supported by our specially trained officers.
“Now I appreciate there'll be lots of questions about what has happened and why.
“And I want to reassure you today that a full and thorough investigation will be carried out to establish the circumstances.
“As you will appreciate, this is now subject to a live investigation, so I’m unable to provide additional detail at this time.
“Last night, we referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, the IOPC, and they’ll be carrying out an independent investigation.
“We will of course co-operate fully with them.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank our local communities in Lancaster and across Lancashire and wider for their understanding and support during what has clearly been a hugely distressing incident.
“I have placed extra reassurance patrols in and around the area today and over the weekend, and anyone with information or concerns should feel free to approach and speak to my officers.
“Finally, anyone with information, CCTV or dashcam footage that may assist the investigation is asked to contact 101.”