Two arrested over officer's death
Forensic police officers at the scene of a car crash in which a policewoman was killed on the Limavady Road, Derry. Photograph: PA
Two men have been arrested in Derry by officers investigating a car crash that killed a police woman.
The 27-year-old officer died when her patrol car was involved in a collision with a suspected stolen vehicle overnight.
She was on routine patrol when the fatal incident happened at around 3.40am. Two other officers in the police car sustained non-serious injuries.
Police had been seeking to question for two males who allegedly made off from the scene on the Limavady Road in the direction of the Ebrington area.
The arrested men are aged 23 and 25. They are currently being questioned in police custody.
PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott said he was greatly saddened by the death of his colleague. “This is a personal tragedy for her family and also for the whole Police Service,” he said.
“She was out on duty, working to keep people safe, when she died. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time. I and my colleagues will ensure that no stone remains unturned as we work to bring to justice those who perpetrated this crime”.
Stormont justice minister David Ford said his thoughts were with the policewoman’s relatives and the injured officers.
“I was shocked to hear of this tragic incident which resulted in the death of a police constable who was carrying out her duties serving the community in the middle of the night,” he said.
“My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.I also send my best wishes to the two officers injured in this incident for a speedy and full recovery. It is hard to imagine how they, and indeed the wider PSNI family, are feeling.
“This is not the first time we have seen death and injury resulting from car crime. I call on those engaged in this crime to reflect on the consequences of their actions and stop this senseless activity.”
The Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman’s office has been informed. Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward.
The Limavady Road at its junction with Glendermott Road and Clooney Terrace has been closed while investigations are carried out.
Chair of the Northern Ireland Policing Board Brian Rea also expressed his sympathies.
“On behalf of the Policing Board I would like to offer deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of this young women,” he said.
“They will have received the terrible news this morning and will be devastated by this tragic event. Our thoughts are also with the two police officers in the car at the time of the collision, who managed to escape without serious injuries.
“To lose a colleague, out on patrol protecting the community, is a terrible blow to the PSNI and I would appeal to anyone who has any information about this incident to go to the police immediately.”
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan extended 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.”