Driver reached speeds of 95mph moments before fatal crash during police chase in Hapton

A driver being pursued by police reached speeds of up to 95mph moments before a fatal collision in Hapton.

By Sean Gleaves
Thursday, 21st July 2022, 4:14 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st July 2022, 4:14 pm

Emergency services were called to a serious road traffic collision in Accrington Road, Hapton, on the evening of July 18, 2021.

The driver, 29-year-old Imran Sultan, was airlifted to Royal Preston Hospital with major head trauma but died at around 1.40am the following day.

A female passenger was also taken to hospital as a precaution and treated for minor injuries.

Police officers who pursued a vehicle in Lancashire prior to a fatal collision "acted in accordance with the relevant policies and procedures," IOPC concludes

An inquest which concluded at Preston Coroner’s Court on Thursday (21 July) determined Sultan died as a result of a road traffic collision.

Why was an investigation launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct?

As the collision took place during a high-speed chase, Lancashire Police referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

IOPC investigators attended the scene and obtained CCTV footage, in-car footage from the police car as well as body-worn video footage.

Investigators also took statements from both police officers and members of the public during the course of the investigation.

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What did investigators find?

The investigation, which concluded in November 2021, found two officers saw a Nissan X-Trail driving at speed while travelling along the M65 towards Blackburn.

A pursuit began after the Nissan driver exited the M65 motorway via the Junction 8 slip road and increased its speed.

Officers told investigators they judged it to be driving erratically.

The roads on which the pursuit took place have speed limits ranging between 30mph and 50mph.

The in-car footage obtained showed Sultan did not demonstrate any intention to stop for the police, at times increasing the speed of the car to approximately 95mph.

The contact between the police and Mr Sultan during the pursuit was brief and lasted about three minutes from the initial sighting.

There was also a significant distance between the police car and the Nissan driver during the pursuit.

The Nissan was out of sight of police at the time of the collision, with officers becoming aware when they saw debris on the road as they travelled round a bend.

Evidence showed that the officer driving the police vehicle considered the weather and road conditions, traffic and pedestrian volume as well as the speed of the pursuit, and this information was appropriately relayed to the control room operator.

What was the outcome of the investigation?

The IOPC concluded that while police presence may have affected the manner of Mr Sultan’s driving, the evidence indicated the officers acted in accordance with local and national policies.

They also found that the risk assessments carried out by the officers and control room staff during the pursuit were appropriate and necessary.

IOPC Regional Director Catherine Bates said: “This was a tragic event that resulted in a man’s death. Our thoughts remain with his family and all those affected.

“It is vital that incidents like this are thoroughly and independently investigated, which is what we have done. Our findings were provided to the Coroner to help inform the inquest proceedings.

“Our investigation found that the officers involved were appropriately-trained and driving in accordance with force and national policies during the pursuit.”