Manchester

Boy, 3, struck by stolen van in Leigh 'critical'

Leo Durrington Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Leo Durrington is fighting for his life, police said

A three-year-old boy is "fighting for his life" after being hit by a stolen van as it was pursued by police.

Leo Durrington was knocked down by the Ford Transit in Wigan Road, Leigh, at about 10:30 GMT.

Officers stopped and gave first aid to the boy before he was taken to hospital, Greater Manchester Police said.

The van was later found abandoned nearby and police were searching for the suspected thieves.

Image copyright GMP
Image caption Police have released pictures of the van involved

Insp Danny Byrne said: "This was a horrendous incident that has left a three-year-old boy in hospital fighting for his life.

"Our investigation is continuing very quickly as we have deployed several resources, including the helicopter and police dogs, to support our efforts to trace those responsible."

The force has also appealed to the driver of the van to come forward to speak to officers "on their terms before we come and find them".

"That person knows exactly who they are, they know exactly what they have done and they left that little boy on the road without any thought for him," Sgt Lee Westhead said.

Greater Manchester Police said the case had been referred to its professional standard's branch "in line with normal force policy".

Wigan Road was closed between Nel Pan Lane and Hill Crest Avenue while officers examined the scene.

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