By Ewan Foskett
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
A FATAL car crash in which a teenage passenger died after a police pursuit in Royston is being probed.
James Clennell, 16, of Benington has been named locally and was in a Citroen Saxo with several others when it overturned in Melbourn Street in the early hours of Monday morning – uprooting a set of traffic lights before striking a brick wall and writing off a delivery vehicle.
He was taken to Lister Hospital, Stevenage where he later died from his injuries.
Another person involved in the crash was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.
Two teenagers from Buntingford, aged 17 and 18, and a 17-year-old from Hertford have been arrested and bailed until August 1.
Hertfordshire Constabulary would not comment on the crash, except to confirm details of the collision, and have referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPPC) – which is investigating the role of the police in the incident.
“At this early stage it is understood that at around 1am officers signalled for the car to pull over, which it did not do, and that a short time later the car overturned in Melbourn Street,” said an IPCC spokesman.
“The IPCC deployed investigators to begin collecting evidence and following an assessment it has been decided that an independent investigation will be conducted.”
Flowers and tributes have been placed at the scene, outside USA Chicken & Pizza, and a Facebook page has been set up to commemorate James.
His sister Ashleigh posted: “Beautiful brother, will be missed by everyone.”
Former Royston resident Sophie Sharp posted: “To think that something as horrific as this could have happened to someone so young and clearly loved by a lot of people really gives me the chills.”
Herts Police confirmed there was a pursuit and that James was a passenger in the car, contrary to previous reports which stated the driver of the vehicle was killed.
Ambulance crews from Letchworth GC, Royston and Stevenage attended the scene. Two fire crews from Royston were also called to the incident.
Hertfordshire Highways was drafted in to repair the damage to the traffic light, a nearby street light, and pedestrian crossing.
Melbourn Street was shut for a number of hours following the incident.