Men critically injured as car crashes into DFS shop after police chase
Two men were critically injured when the car they were in overturned and crashed into a DFS store after being chased by police in Cannock.
The two men suffered "multiple serious injuries" when they were thrown out of a white VW Scirocco after it lost control on Longford Island, overturned and hit the front of the furniture shop.
Road closures were in place on stretches of the A5 nearby for around eight hours as a result, with long delays around Cannock throughout the morning after the crash happened at around 3.45am.
The written-off car ended up on its side wedged between the furniture shop's smashed windows and bollards in front.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which has begun an investigation, said it believed the crash happened 'following a short police pursuit'.
A statement said: "We understand that two cars overtook an unmarked Staffordshire Police car at speed on the A5, in the direction of Cannock at approximately 4am this morning.
"The evidence we have at this time indicates that the police activated their blue lights and followed the cars.
"A short time later, one of the cars, a white Volkswagen Scirocco, crashed into a roundabout at Longford Island and into the nearby DFS store."
Both occupants of the Volkswagen, two men, were ejected from the vehicle.
They are now being treated in hospital for life-threatening injuries.
IOPC Regional Director Derrick Campbell said: “Our thoughts are with all those affected by this incident including the emergency services involved.
“We sent investigators to the scene and have begun to gather evidence, such as CCTV footage and statements from the officers involved, to help us get an early picture of what has happened.
“At this early stage there is no evidence to suggest that there was contact between the vehicles, but our investigation is still in progress.”
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Both men were taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, with the driver of the car treated at the hospital's major trauma centre.
A spokesman for the ambulance service said: “Crews arrived to discover two patients, both of whom were out of the vehicle on our arrival. The vehicle had come to rest against the DFS store.
“One of the men, the driver of the car, was treated for potentially life-threatening injuries.
"He received specialist trauma care at the scene before being transferred to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham on blue lights and sirens. The doctor travelled on the back of the ambulance to help continue treatment on route to hospital.
“The second man was also treated for multiple serious injuries, potentially life-threatening, and he was also taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham on blue lights and sirens.”
The DFS is set back from Longford Island on Roman Way Retail Park, on the corner of the A4601 Wolverhampton Road and the A5 Watling Street.
Parts of the A5 between the M6 and the A460 at Churchbridge were closed on and off between 4am and midday as police specialists examined the scene.
Longford Island is ordinarily extremely busy during rush hour and traffic was backed up around the town as a result.
The road closure caused problems for staff and guests at the nearby Roman Way Hotel.
Receptionist Tracy Stokes said: "I came along the A5 to work and had to detour all around Cannock. Staff are still turning up late.
"Some guests couldn't get to work or had to go another way. We haven't been told anything about what has happened."
A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: "As is normal procedure in such circumstances the matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
"People travelling to work will face disruption as road closures will be in place in the A5 area while the investigation is ongoing.
"We apologise for the disruption but hope motorists will understand given the seriousness of the incident."
Witnesses are asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident 71 of May 24.
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