Young mum killed in police chase horror is named
PUBLISHED: 21:07 01 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:09 05 October 2010
THE mother killed in a police chase in East London has been named by Scotland Yard as 31-year-old Raquel Williams. Her 19-month-old baby daughter was among four injured in the six-vehicle pile-up who had to be freed from the wreckage by rescuers in Bethnal Green at 3.45am on Sunday
By Victoria Huntley and Mike Brooke
THE mother killed in a police chase in East London has been named by Scotland Yard as 31-year-old Raquel Williams.
Her 19-month-old baby daughter was among four injured in the six-vehicle pile-up who had to be freed from the wreckage by rescuers at Bethnal Green at 3.45 am on Sunday.
Raquel was in a blue Vauxhall Corsa with her baby on her way home to Leyton when it was struck head-on by a black Mercedes being pursued by police along Bethnal Green-road when it failed to stop at the traffic lights at Vallance-road.
The unmarked police car had earlier put on blue lights to alert it to stop when, instead, it sped away before crashing into the Vauxhall, said Scotland Yard.
Those in the Mercedes made off on foot from the scene, leaving behind the carnage of six wrecked vehicles including two taxis.
Ambulance paramedics battled to save the Raquel Williams' life, but she was pronounced dead at the scene at 4.30am.
A post mortem yesterday (Monday) gave cause of death as multiple injuries. An Inquest opens Thursday (April 4) at Poplar Coroner's Court.
The little girl and the man in the car were both treated at the scene before being taken to the Royal London hospital at Whitechapel, where they are still detained.
The man had serious head injuries and was in a 'life-threatening' condition, said the London Ambulance service. His condition is described today as critical, but stable.
He and the child had to be cut free from the wreckage by a crew from nearby Bethnal Green fire-station which arrived at the scene in minutes.
Another vehicle the Mercedes struck was a taxi carrying 19-year-old Carly Flasher and her family.
They had just got into the cab after a night out in the Old George in Bethnal Green-road when the smash happened.
"My mum started screaming because she saw the Mercedes crash into the Corsa and then into us," Carly told the East London Advertiser.
"Then we all got thrown onto the cab floor and I just started screaming."
"Mum had 15 lacerations to her leg. I was feeling pretty hysterical."
Memories of the crash are still haunting Carly who has since been having trouble sleeping.
"I don't really want to close my eyes because I keep playing it again in my head," she continued.
"We've been so lucky, though. We're lucky we came out of it at all. We could have died."
Carly's mum Cathy suffered serious leg injuries and was taken to Homerton Hospital, but was due to return to her home in Loughton yesterday (Wednesday).
Her stepdad suffered minor back injuries, while Carly herself escaped with only cuts and bruises.
Officers shortly after the pile-up arrested a man and a woman, both aged 21, in connection with the incident, who were later bailed to return to police stations in East London at the end of the month and next month, pending further investigations.
Another man in his 20s was arrested when he walked into a police station in west London on Monday and is currently in custody.
An investigation into the crash has been launched by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, whose commissioner Deborah Glass said: "We are looking into what, if any, involvement the police vehicle may have had with the Mercedes prior to the collision. This was a horrific incident."
Statistics released last month show 148 people have died since 2002 in collisions involving police cars, including 30 in the past year alone.