Norfolk death crash latest - Teenage driver off critical list

A 15-year-old boy has died in a car crash in Caister-on-Sea overnight after the stolen car he was travelling in crashed into a wall when trying to escape the attentions of police.

Late this morning, a police spokesman said the 17-year-old driver was off the critical list at Gorleston's James Paget University Hospital and was in a stable condition.

Mother of two Irene Childs described how she was awoken by a 'huge bang' and looked out of her bedroom window to see the back of a badly damaged car protruding throught her front garden wall.

Mrs Childs, 33, said: 'I ran outside to see if anyone needed help but the police were instantly on the scene.

'I asked if they needed blankets or anything but they said, 'no'. I knew it was very serious.'

She said two fire engines, four police cars and two ambulances attended the accident; it took a good 90 minutes to get the driver out.

Mrs Childs said she and her husband had lived in Caister High Street for three years but there had never been an issue of speeding before.

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Pamela Pegge, 70, who lives opposite, said the crash made her think 'a bomb had gone off in the back garden'.

'Our bedroom is at the back but the radiator still shook,' she said.

'When I looked out the window police cars were there and officers were trying to get into the car before the arrival of the ambulances and fire engines.

The front bit of the wall is new so it must have been a tremendous impact; I could see the car was smashed to pieces.'

Hairdresser Laura Lodge, 27, another neighbour, said: 'The first thing I heard was shouting and I thought there was a fight.

'I saw one lad hobbling and think he had been in the car. Two police officers were trying to wrench the passenger door open.'

The silver Ford Fiesta had been reported stolen in the Bradwell area two days earlier and immediately prior to the collision, the car failed to stop for police officers who were in the area responding to reports of an aggravated burglary.

The car then hit a wall on High Street and the 15-year-old in the front passenger seat was pronounced dead at the scene, with the male driver suffering serious injuries and the rear seat passengers - an 18-year-old male and 17-year-old female - suffering minor injuries.

All three are currently receiving treatment at James Paget Hospital in Gorleston and have subsequently been arrested on suspicion of burglary.

A police spokesman said: 'The incident occurred at approximately 12.10am this morning when a silver Fiesta, carrying four people, hit a wall. The front seat passenger, a 15-year-old male, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

'Immediately prior to the collision, the car failed to stop for police officers who were in the area responding to reports of an aggravated burglary. It has since been established that the vehicle had been reported stolen from the Bradwell area two days earlier.'

Two fire engines from Great Yarmouth rushed to the scene to release two trapped people and assisted the ambulance and police services to make the vehicle and scene safe.

Norfolk Police has referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, as is usual procedure for crashes when a police presence has been involved.

Do you want to pay tribute to the dead teenager? Contact reporter Stephen Pullinger on 01493 847954 or on email at stephen.pullinger@archant.co.uk