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Man held after elderly pedestrian killed by car during police pursuit

A man has been arrested by police investigating a fatal hit-and-run crash during a police pursuit which ended with an elderly pedestrian being killed.

The 33-year-old suspect handed himself into police on Wednesday morning following the death of the 78-year-old man in St James's Street, Brighton - yards from the city's famous Palace Pier.

The suspect was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, drink-driving, failing to stop for police and failing to report an accident, Sussex Police said.

The Vauxhall Astra involved in the crash was abandoned a short distance from the crash on Madeira Drive, near the Concorde 2 music venue.

Sussex Police said the pursuit took place after the Astra failed to stop for officers at around 10pm on Tuesday in the Bear Road area.

Sussex Police said the unnamed victim was a local man.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an investigation into what led up to the pursuit.

Appealing for witnesses, Sergeant Richard Hornsey said: "This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family of the victim at this time."

Scenes of crime officers in white forensics suits combed the crash scene for clues as a tent stood in the middle of the sealed-off road.

Locals described their shock at the death. Pat Hogan, 70, said he knew the victim, who has not been formally identified, as a "very nice, quiet man".

Speaking at the scene, Mr Hogan said: "I feel awful. It knocks you for six. If you knock someone down you have to stop, you don't just drive off."

Some roads into Brighton were choked with traffic as police sealed off large sections of the Old Steine area.

A spokesman for the IPCC said: "We were alerted by Sussex Police to the fatal road traffic incident in Brighton yesterday evening.

"The IPCC deployed investigators straight away and we have since begun an independent investigation into the circumstances of the police pursuit."

Anyone with information should contact Sussex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, quoting Operation Beresford.

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