Beds, Herts & Bucks

Two killed in police crash in Luton named

Scene of the crash
Image caption The police car hit two pedestrians standing on the pathway

Two men killed when they were hit by a police car in Luton have been named.

Pedestrians Rida Lecheheb, 33, and Sidali Mellel, 26, were struck by the marked Vauxhall Astra on Friday night.

The car, crewed by two male officers, collided with another vehicle and came onto the path at the junction of Holland Road and Leagrave Road.

Bedfordshire Police referred the incident to the by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) which is appealing for witnesses.

Police officers uninjured

The car was responding to an incident and on blue lights and sirens when it collided with a Toyota Celica at 2350 BST, police said.

It then mounted the pavement and hit the men, who were among a group of pedestrians.

The two police officers and the Celica driver were all uninjured.

The IPCC said it had started an inquiry into the actions of the Luton officers in the police car, to investigate whether they acted within the law and in line with force policy during the incident.

IPCC investigators have been speaking to local people, examining officers' first accounts, checking police records and documents and liaising with the coroner, it added.

It is also keeping the men's families up to date with the progress of the investigation.

IPCC commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: "Independent investigators will be concentrating on gathering relevant information from police radio transmissions, viewing CCTV footage, examining statements from witnesses and following other lines of enquiry.

"It is really important that we piece together a full picture of what happened.

"We need to hear from anyone who saw the movements of the police car in the run up to the collision along Leagrave Road.

"We are hearing from local people that there were various witnesses to the collision and I would urge those people would contact us and tell us what they saw."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the IPCC.

An inquest into the deaths is set to be opened and adjourned in Dunstable on Thursday.

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