Northern Ireland

Policewoman killed in crash involving stolen vehicle

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe BBC's Julian O'Neill said the suspected stolen car may have run through a red light

A policewoman has died in a crash involving a suspected stolen car in Londonderry.

The 27-year-old was on a routine patrol, in an unmarked police car, when the collision happened on the Limavady Road at 03:40 GMT on Saturday.

Two other police officers were hurt but not seriously injured.

It is believed the stolen car may have gone through a red light at a junction. Two men fled from the scene towards Ebrington.

The road is closed at the junctions with Glendermott Road and Clooney Terrace.

The Police Ombudsman has been informed.

'Personal tragedy'

The PSNI Chief Constable, Matt Baggott, paid tribute to the officer and vowed to catch those responsible.

"It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of our colleague. This is a personal tragedy for her family and also for the whole Police Service," he said in a statement.

"She was out on duty, working to keep people safe, when she died. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time."

Mr Baggott added: "I and my colleagues will ensure that no stone remains unturned as we work to bring to justice those who perpetrated this crime".

Northern Ireland's Justice Minister David Ford said his thoughts and prayers were with the woman's family.


"I also send my best wishes to the two officers injured in this incident for a speedy and full recovery," he said.

"It is hard to imagine how they, and indeed the wider PSNI family, are feeling."

Image caption The road is closed at the junctions with Glendermott Road and Clooney Terrace.

Chairman of Northern Ireland's Policing Board, Brian Rea, said he was shocked by the incident.

"To lose a colleague, out on patrol protecting the community, is a terrible blow to the PSNI," he said.

SDLP MP Mark Durkan said the policewoman had been "tragically killed in the line of duty whilst doing her job to protect the community".


"The accident appears to involve a stolen car. The shock felt across the community will be matched with disgust that such criminal activity has led to this tragic death, and I call on those responsible, or anyone who has any information, to come forward to the PSNI," Mr Durkan said.

Ulster Unionist Ross Hussey said: "This young woman's death in the line of duty serves to re-emphasise the dangers faced by the officers of the Police Service of Northern Ireland on a daily basis, as they put themselves in harm's way to protect the whole community."

The Republic of Ireland's most senior police officer, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, also expressed his condolences.

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with our friends in Northern Ireland as they mourn the loss of their colleague," he said.

"We also wish a speedy recovery to the officers injured in the incident."

The police are appealing for witnesses to contact them.