Police '˜stinger' used at scene of fatal collision in north Belfast
A '˜stinger' device is believed to have been used by police prior to a fatal incident involving a stolen car in north Belfast.
A woman died as a result of a collision on the Ballysillan Road shortly before 11am on Thursday (April 19).
Investigators from the Police Ombudsman’s (PONI) office have confirmed they are investigating the circumstances leading up to the crash.
A PONI spokesman said: “The PSNI informed us that its officers had been involved in a pursuit of a vehicle involved in the collision. A stinger device is also believed to have been used by police.
“We are now investigating the actions taken by police in the period prior to the collision. Our investigators have been at scene and are continuing to make enquiries.”
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The spokesman added: “I would also like to take this opportunity to express our sympathies to the family and friends of the woman who died.”
The woman who died is understood to be from the area and the mother of two young children. One man was arrested at the scene and was on Thursday night still being questioned by police.
Local DUP councillor Dale Pankhurst has called for tougher sentences for those involved in similar car crime incidents.
“My thoughts are with the victim and her family. Absolutely heartbreaking,” he tweeted.
Cllr Pankhurst added: “Sickened to the pit of my stomach that a local woman has been killed by suspected joyriders on the Ballysillan Road. Would appeal to anyone with information to cooperate with the police.”
His party colleague William Humphrey said: “The life of a local woman has been taken as a result of this reckless crime.
“My deepest sympathy goes out to her family who have been suddenly and terribly bereaved.”
Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly also extended his condolences and urged anyone “who may have been in the vicinity at the time of the incident to come forward with that information,” while Councillor Paul McCusker of the SDLP said: “Death drivers have no place in our society and serve no other purpose than to terrorise communities.”
The incident was the second tragedy in the area in just over 12 hours after the body of a man was discovered off the Cliftonville Road on Wednesday evening.