Man hit on M23 near Crawley 'running away from police'

Vehicle involved in the crash on the M23 Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Police say the man was hit by a car as he ran from a suspected stolen vehicle

A 19-year-old man who was critically injured when he was hit by a car on the M23 was running away from police at the time, officers have said.

He and a 33-year-old man had earlier been travelling in a suspected stolen car that was abandoned in Stace Way, Crawley, Sussex Police said.

The teenager was struck by a car on the nearby motorway as the men ran from the vehicle, according to officers.

He suffered life-threatening head injuries and remains in hospital.

A 33-year-old man from Crawley was arrested nearby on suspicion of being carried in a vehicle taken without consent. He has been bailed until 11 April.

'Briefly pursued'

The matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Part of the motorway between junctions 10 and 11 was closed in both directions near Crawley to allow an air ambulance to reach the injured man, just before 12:00 GMT on Sunday.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: "Prior to the collision on the motorway, a vehicle he had been travelling in had been briefly pursued in Moat Road, East Grinstead.

"It had also been involved in a collision with another car in London Road, for which it had failed to stop at the scene.

"The vehicle was then abandoned in Stace Way and two men ran from the car."

He said the 19-year-old man, from Crawley Down, was then struck by a car going northbound on the motorway.

Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption The motorway was closed for several hours but later reopened

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