Kent

Egerton crash: Girl dies and three seriously hurt

Egerton Image copyright Google
Image caption Three teenagers remain in hospital in a serious condition

A 17-year-old girl has died and three other teenagers were seriously injured in a car crash in Kent.

A Suzuki Swift carrying six teenagers hit a tree in a garden in Mundy Bois Road in Egerton, near Ashford, at about 20:20 BST on Saturday.

The police watchdog has been informed because a Kent Police vehicle was "in close proximity at the time of the collision", the force said.

Two teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of driving offences.

Kent Police said officers were in the area due to reports an illegal rave was taking place in nearby Pluckley.

However, the force found no such event was being held.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said "police on patrol in a marked vehicle saw a vehicle containing six people that then headed off at speed".

The police car then "turned around to follow the vehicle and found it had crashed", the IOPC said.

Mandatory referral

The 17-year-old girl died while being taken to hospital by ambulance.

Two men - aged 19 and 18 - and a second 17-year-old girl remain in hospital in a "serious but stable condition", a force spokesperson said.

A 19-year-old man from Ashford and a 17-year-old girl from Maidstone, who have been discharged from hospital, have been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

Officers have asked for anyone who saw the silver hatchback to contact them.

Kent Police said it had "made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct due to a police vehicle being in close proximity at the time of the collision".

An IOPC spokesman said it had begun an investigation, adding: "Part of our investigation will be to establish whether or not the police were actively pursuing the vehicle."

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