Leigh-on-Sea crash dead 'drugs claim' complaint upheld

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Liam Phillips (left) and Reigan KnightImage source, Essex Police
Image caption,
Liam Phillips (left) and Reigan Knight (right) died in a car crash in Leigh-on-Sea on 27 December

The families of two teenagers wrongly accused of having Class A drugs when they died in a crash during a police pursuit have had a complaint upheld.

Reigan Knight and Liam Phillips, both 17, were killed when the Ford Escort they were passengers in crashed in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, in December 2016.

An Essex Police press release said they possessed drugs, a claim later changed.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) could not find how the incorrect information was included.

The IPCC also found there was "no indication of misconduct" by the officers involved in the pursuit.

The investigation found that after police checked the vehicle's details in the police national computer the driver "attempted to evade police", leading to a pursuit at speed.

At about 01:00 GMT on 27 December, at the junction of Southsea Avenue and Glendale Gardens, the car Mr Knight and Mr Phillips were travelling in collided with a BMW before hitting a wall.

The driver of the BMW received minor injuries.

In March this year the driver of the Ford admitted two counts of death by dangerous driving, and was sentenced to four years in custody.

Essex Police said it did not want to add to the IPCC's statement.

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