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Fleeing suspect under arrest after three-car smash
A man was last night under arrest on suspicion of car theft and dangerous driving after a police chase ended in a three-car smash.
After rolling a Ford Focus at the Valley Road junction with Canal Road, the suspect was wrestled to the ground by a member of the public as he tried to flee the scene.
And his passenger, who suffered a suspected broken leg and head injuries and had to be cut free, was also later arrested on suspicion of theft as he received treatment in hospital.
A Yorkshire Air Ambulance helicopter, two fire engines, police cars and ambulances were called to the scene next to Tesco at about 12.45pm yesterday.
A crowd gathered round the police cordon as rescuers used cutting gear to free people trapped in two of the cars – including the green 02 plate Ford Focus that witnesses said they saw being pursued by police along Canal Road seconds before the impact.
One witness, who asked not to be named, said he first heard revving engines screaming towards the junction from the Shipley direction.
“The green car was coming from the Shipley direction closely followed by a police car, but when it got to the lights they were red. The Focus couldn’t go on any further so it just swerved over to the wrong side of the road – that’s when it happened and all hell let loose.”
The Focus is believed to have collided with a black Peugeot estate and another silver Citroen before barrel-rolling to a halt. The junction was strewn with debris, the battery from the wrecked Focus had been hurled clear of the engine, a wheelchair lay close to the Peugeot with bags of Tesco shopping visible in its open boot. The Citroen, severely dented on the passenger side, was a small distance away on Canal Road facing the Shipley direction.
Electrical engineer Nick Lawson, 42, of Bingley had just parked his van in Tesco’s car park when he heard a bang like an explosion.
He said: “I looked over and there was this skinny guy running across the car park, a policeman was behind him. I tried to head him off but he ran the other way in between parked cars and tried to scale a wall near the trolley park but I grabbed the back of his coat and pulled him down.
“I just held on to him for a few seconds until the policeman got to us, there was another man who came to help as well – I think he said he was a retired officer who’d been shopping with his wife.”
Crews of paramedics and fire service rescuers used cutting equipment to free trapped occupants in two cars, shearing off the Focus’s roof to get to a young man believed to have been a passenger. He was removed on a spinal board and medics worked on him for 20 minutes before he was rushed to hospital in an ambulance.
The driver of a second car also had to be cut free after suffering minor injuries. One person in the Citroen needed hospital treatment for minor injuries. The air ambulance was not needed to take any casualties to hospital.
Grandmother June Symes was waiting at the traffic lights in her Vauxhall Zafira containing her daughter, son and baby grandson when she said she saw a sudden green flash as the Focus clipped her vehicle. She said: “It hit me. We were all screaming but the car stopped. A police car was chasing it. The policeman jumped out and the driver of the green car ran off. My God, if it had been a few seconds later and the lights had gone green we would have been in the middle of it all.”
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman confirmed a man had been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and theft of a vehicle and another man had been arrested on suspicion of car theft. He also appealed for any witness to contact the non-emergency number 101.
Canal Road remained closed for six hours until shortly before 7pm.