Manchester

Hale police crash car seized from 'drink-driver'

Overturned car in garden
Image caption The car ploughed through a garden fence before overturning

Two police officers have been suspended from driving duties after crashing a high-performance car they had seized from a suspected drink-driver.

The driver of the Mitsubishi Lancer had been arrested and taken into custody after being stopped in Hale Barns, Greater Manchester, on Friday morning.

Officers were driving the car away - against force policy - when it crashed through two gardens. One was injured.

Police said the incident would be "rigorously investigated".

The officers had stopped the vehicle after watching it being driven erratically on Hale Road at about 0215 BST.

A 23-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving and his vehicle was authorised for recovery.

The car was later being driven away from the scene when it travelled over a grass verge, across the garden of one house and through the neighbour's garden fence before ending up on its side.

Two officers were found in the vehicle. One of the officers suffered minor injuries while the other was severely shaken.

Normal police procedure when arresting a suspected drink-driver is to wait for a recovery vehicle to take the car away.

No-one else was injured in the incident and the car was later taken away after being winched on to a low loader.

The collision is being investigated by officers from GMP's professional standards unit.

Ch Supt Mark Roberts, Trafford divisional commander, said the "incident will be rigorously investigated" and apologised to residents for any inconvenience caused.

Image caption One resident said the crash had caused "carnage" in the area

Asked if the crash was an embarrassment for Greater Manchester Police, he said: "Clearly this isn't the type of interview I would like to be doing.

"I would like to be talking about some of the great stuff we have been doing."

Russell Lomas, whose garden was one of those driven through, told the BBC he was awoken by a "tremendous crash".

"I was very shocked this morning when I was told two police officers were driving the car," he said.

"Because it would, I would have thought, have needed somebody to be driving it very, very quickly indeed to cause the chaos that this has done."

Nearby resident Richard Connolly said the crash had caused "carnage" in the area, which is an exclusive suburb on the Cheshire border.

He said: "We have not been able to get out of our house. The road's been closed - I had to walk the kids to school."

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