A motorist who died in a crash after a car being followed by police failed to stop during a 15-minute chase was a serving police community support officer, her force said.
Holly Burke, 28, was hit by a Renault Scenic which “continued at speed” after a stinger device was deployed by officers in Bearwood, near Birmingham, on Tuesday night.
The West Midlands Police Community Support Officer, who had been in the job for 14 months, died at the scene on Lordswood Road at the junction with Hagley Road at around 11.30pm – around seven miles away from where officers first spotted the speeding car in Erdington, Birmingham.
Chief Superintendent Kenny Bell said: “This is a desperately sad time for everyone who knew Holly and our thoughts and condolences are with Holly’s mum and dad, family, friends and colleagues.
“There is no doubt that this tragic event will have an impact on those officers who responded and those who worked alongside her.
“Holly has been taken from us too soon and as a police family we are feeling this.”
A woman who died in a collision in #Bearwood last night has been named as Holly Burke, a serving West Midlands Police Community Support Officer (PCSO). This is a desperately sad time for everyone who knew Holly and our thoughts are with her family. https://t.co/pAnvwfiNVB s. pic.twitter.com/HOPBmbRfOs— Birmingham Police (@brumpolice) January 23, 2019
Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson described her death as “truly tragic”, and that she was “greatly valued” by the force and communities she served.
A 42-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of death by dangerous driving, and driving under the influence of drugs, and remains in police custody.
West Midlands Police said Ms Burke’s next of kin have been informed and are being supported by the specialist family liaison unit.
The force said the incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, who said investigators have been gathering evidence including body worn and in-car footage.
IOPC regional director Derrick Campbell said: “Our sympathies are with the family of the woman who sadly died in this tragic incident and everyone else affected.
“We have a duty to independently investigate in these circumstances and we will be examining the events prior to the collision to determine if appropriate policies and procedures were followed.
“We will be contacting the family of the woman who died to more fully explain our role and will keep them and the force regularly updated on our investigation.”