Two friends died after car crashed during high-speed police chase, inquest hears

Patrick 'Paddy' Connors, 36, and Thomas 'Tommy' Sharp, 29, died from chest injuries suffered in the crash in Salford.

The funeral procession of Patrick 'Paddy' Connors who was killed. (SWNS)
The funeral procession of Patrick 'Paddy' Connors who was killed. (SWNS)

Two friends died when the car they were travelling in crashed during a high-speed police chase, an inquest heard.

Patrick 'Paddy' Connors, 36, and Thomas 'Tommy' Sharp, 29, died from chest injuries after their Mercedes C200 smashed into two other vehicles during the chase in Salford, Greater Manchester.

Coroner Timothy Brennand said Tommy was behind the wheel of the powerful car on the evening of 23 September, 2020.

He said when a marked police car began to follow the pair, the Mercedes reached speeds of 87mph and was seen driving on both sides of the road, before crashing.

Police tape at the cordon across a crime scene
They crashed after a marked police car chased them, jurors were told. (Getty)

Mr Brennand said: “It would seem that the Mercedes appeared to attempt to steer or avert what then was self-evidently a high-speed impact.”

Paddy was pronounced dead at 12.48 am, while Tommy died at 12.56 am, following the collision with two Volkswagen Passat cars.

Speaking at the inquest, Paddy’s wife Margaret said the “fun-loving” dad had gone to a funeral and wake in Wigan before heading to a pub.

She did not know when Paddy met Tommy but said it may have been at the wake.

Margaret added: “He had friends everywhere, from one end of the travelling community to the next.

"He was very close to his family, very close to his cousins and friends and relations.”

The court also heard how Tommy came from a large family, the youngest of 10 children.

He lived on a caravan park in Salford and worked as a builder.

He had been married to his wife Alicia for nine years and they had a son and a daughter.

She said he “doted” on their children and he “loved life”.

Mrs Sharp said she last spoke to her husband at around 11pm that night, asking him to return home, but he did not tell her where he was or what his plans were.

Following their deaths, large crowds gathered for the funeral - despite COVID restrictions limiting the number of mourners allowed to 30.

A horse-drawn carriage led a cortege that saw silver Rolls-Royces and colourful supercars follow crowds of mourners to Traveller Paddy's funeral.

The jury inquest, which is expected to last for 10 days, continues.