Police release details of crash which caused death of female pedestrian - man (39) in custody
The PSNI has disclosed information about a north Belfast crash that caused the death of a female pedestrian.
Investigators from the Police Ombudsman’s Office earlier confirmed it is investigating the circumstances leading up to the fatal collision which happened on the Ballysillan Road in Belfast on Thursday morning.
A 39-year-old man arrested at the scene remains in custody at Musgrave PSNI station for questioning.
Superintendent Melanie Jones said: "Firstly, I would like to offer our sincere condolences to the woman’s family."
Police first received a report just after 8am on Thursday morning of an Audi A4 car having been stolen from a house in the Cavehill Road area of Belfast.
Believing the car was still in north Belfast, police were deployed to search for it. Shortly after 10.40am the car was seen by the police helicopter, which followed it towards Fortwilliam where it exited onto the Shore Road.
Superintendent Jones said: “As the car then travelled onto the Antrim road, in line with procedure designed to bring a vehicle to a controlled stop, other trained officers deployed a ’stinger’ device; however, the driver of the stolen vehicle failed to stop. After following at a distance, due to concerns about the dangerous manner in which the stolen car was being driven, specially trained police officers ended their pursuit, handing over to the police helicopter.
"As the stolen car travelled along the Ballysillan Road, it collided with a vehicle, before then colliding with and killing a female pedestrian.
"A 39-year-old man was arrested at the scene and has been taken to Musgrave PSNI station for questioning."
Superintendent Jones added the Police Ombudsman investigation was normal procedure and it would be fully cooperating.
A spokesman for the Ombudsman Office said: “The PSNI informed us that its officers had been involved in a pursuit of a vehicle involved in the collision. A stinger device is also believed to have been used by police.
“We are now investigating the actions taken by police in the period prior to the collision. Our investigators have been at scene and are continuing to make enquiries.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express our sympathies to the family and friends of the woman who died.”
The Ballysillan Road remains closed in both directions following the incident.
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said one person was taken to hospital via air ambulance.
"One emergency ambulance crew and one officer attended the incident. The charity air ambulance was also dispatched to the scene," a spokesperson said.
"Following assessment and treatment at the scene by paramedics, one patient is being conveyed to the Royal Victoria Hospital."
Local DUP councillor Dale Pankhurst said that he had been informed by reliable sources that a woman passed away.
"I am sickened to the pit of my stomach that a local woman has been killed," he said.
Police said the crash involved a suspected stolen vehicle and urged the public to avoid the area.
Diversions are currently in place at Bilston Road and Oldpark Road.
One man has been arrested at scene of serious road traffic collision at Ballysillan Road, north Belfast, involving suspected stolen vehicle. The road remains closed at this time.— PSNI Road Policing (@PSNITraffic) April 19, 2018
Sinn Fein North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly extended condolences to the family and friends of the local woman.
“The community was shocked to hear of the tragic death which occurred in the Ballysillan Road area of North Belfast," he said.
“This is the second tragedy to occur in North Belfast in just over twelve hours.
“I want to extend my condolences to the family and friends of the woman killed and ask anyone who may have been in the vicinity at the time of the incident to come forward with that information.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital