Couple tell of crash horror

IPSWICH: A pregnant woman and her boyfriend were lucky to escape with their lives after a van fleeing police nearly hit them at high speed.

IPSWICH: A pregnant woman and her boyfriend were lucky to escape with their lives after a van fleeing police nearly hit them at high speed.

Today Steven Cates told how a white transit came within ten feet of colliding with him and his partner Joanna Read, who is six months pregnant, as it careered out of control.

Mr Cates, of Bloomfield Street, said the couple had just turned into Woodbridge Road from Brunswick Road on Saturday evening when the near-miss occurred close to the pedestrian crossing.

The 36-year-old said: “Just before we got to the railings we heard the almighty roar of a van. It overtook a car and went over the roundabout. It must have clipped the centre island and then crashed into the pedestrian barriers which were only feet away from us.

“The van went sideways and then ended up on the other side of the road. Jo was very shaken up. It was surreal.

“We feel extremely lucky. With other incidents in the past, people have not been so lucky.”

Most Read

Although the van - which ploughed into the barriers and a garden wall - is not believed to have been stolen, it is said to have had different number plates on the front and the back.

Police had already halted their pursuit by the time the van crashed because it was deemed too dangerous to continue the chase.

The drama began after the men were spotted by a security guard at Ipswich Hospital around 8.15pm breaking into a compound near the maternity wing.

As the thieves tried to leave after loading the van with copper piping, security staff attempted to stop their vehicle by blocking it, but it eluded them.

Police arrived to see the van speeding away. They also signalled for it to stop, but the driver ignored their instructions. A pursuit began as the van turned left into Heath Road, before turning left again into Woodbridge Road East and then Woodbridge Road.

The vehicle is believed to have been travelling in excess of 60mph so police decided to pull back.

After crashing, the three men got out of the vehicle and fled before police arrived.

The van has been checked for fingerprints and other forensics, while a search is still going on for its occupants. CCTV at the hospital is also being checked.

One of the men is described as being white, with short dark hair. He was wearing a striped, long-sleeved top.

Anyone who can help catch the offenders should telephone Pc Timothy Barrell on 01473 613500.