London

Two die in crash with van pursued by police in Eltham

The Citroen car hit by a transit van Image copyright PA
Image caption The man and women were in a Citroen car when the crash happend

A man and a woman in their 70s have died in a crash involving a van being pursued by police in south-east London.

The crash happened on Footscray Road, Eltham, just after midnight.

Scotland Yard said officers had spotted the Ford Transit van being driven "erratically at speed" and the driver had failed to stop.

The man and the woman, who were in another car, died at the scene. The driver of the van was arrested and taken to hospital.

He was held on suspicion of driving while over the alcohol limit, driving while unfit through drugs, and causing death by dangerous driving, the Met said.

The incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The arrested man was driving a van

Neighbour Mahmut Hasan, 57, said he woke up when he heard the car crash into his Honda.

"I came down and saw [paramedics] trying to resuscitate the older couple for a long time. I saw the passenger side had a walking stick next to it.

"Their whole car was a mess. Very badly damaged. The front was gone."

Hussein Dervish, 65, also heard the noise and went outside to see what had happened.

"I was in the back of my house when I heard just a loud bang. Even with the double glazing and all that, I still heard it.

"I went outside and saw the car and the van. I said to the police officer: 'I hope the [couple] are okay?' But the policeman said they weren't."

The Met's deputy commissioner Stephen House said the thoughts of the force were with the family of those who died.

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