Boy, 16, dies in police pursuit in Middlesbrough

Image caption,
Tributes have been left at the scene of the crash

Tributes have been paid to a 16-year-old boy who died as the car he was in crashed while being pursued by police.

The teenager was a passenger in a Ford Focus which crashed into another car while being followed by a marked police vehicle in Middlesbrough on Tuesday.

Friends have described him as a "good kid" who was trusted, respectful and always happy.

Cleveland Police said two men and two teenagers had been arrested over the crash on Park Road North.

A force spokesman said the incident had been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Image caption,
Friends of the teenager, Ryan Robinson (L) and John Coates, said they were shocked

A friend, Ryan Robinson, said the 16-year-old was a "really top lad, he was a really good kid".

"Every time I seen him he was always dead jolly," he said.

"It's a shame that he's gone, to be honest. I'm devastated."

Another friend, John Coates, said the teenager was "one of the happiest lads" he had ever known.

"He was respectful, he was sound, he was one of my best mates, I could trust him with anything and he always had my back, no matter what," he said.

"And then he's gone. It's a shock. I still don't believe that he's gone."

Image caption,
The crash happened at the junction of Park Road North and Park Vale Road in Middlesbrough

Cleveland Police said officers in a marked vehicle saw the Ford Focus with a number of passengers at about 20:00 GMT.

"Officers activated the vehicle's lights and sirens, however the Ford Focus failed to stop," a spokesperson said.

"A short pursuit ensued, during which the Ford Focus was subsequently in collision with a Qashqai which was being driven near the junction of Park Road North and Park Vale Road in Middlesbrough."

Police said the 16-year-old boy was later confirmed dead at James Cook University Hospital.

A 29-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday morning on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

A 17-year-old girl, 22-year-old man and 17-year old boy were arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after being treated in hospital on Tuesday.

They are all in police custody.

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