Police car ‘seconds behind’ stolen vehicle in fatal crash

Police at the scene after a serious crash on the Ballysillan Road in north Belfast on Thursday. Pic: Pacemaker
Police at the scene after a serious crash on the Ballysillan Road in north Belfast on Thursday. Pic: Pacemaker

A police pursuit car was “a matter of seconds” behind a stolen car which crashed in north Belfast, killing a mother-of-two, according to the Police Ombudsman’s Office.

In a statement on Friday evening, a spokesman for the Police Ombudsman’s Office said its investigators had established that a police vehicle had been in pursuit of the stolen car when it crashed on the Ballysillan Road, killing pedestrian Lisa Gow.

The spokesperson said: “Video from the police helicopter and from within the lead police pursuit car clearly shows that, when the collision occurred, police were a matter of seconds behind the suspect vehicle.

“Our investigation is continuing and will consider issues such as how police dealt with this incident and the manner of police driving.”

In a separate statement also released on Friday, PSNI Superintendent Melanie Jones said: “Whilst we initially reported that the police pursuit of the stolen vehicle had ended prior to the collision, as the investigation has progressed and following consultation with the Police Ombudsman, the full circumstances of the pursuit will be independently investigated by the Police Ombudsman. This will include whether or not the pursuit had ended at the time of the collision. Specially trained liaison officers have informed the family and will continue to support them at this tragic time.”

Police Ombudsman investigators have met members of the deceased’s family and briefed them about its investigation.