Breaking: IPOC launches investigation after woman, 20, dies following police pursuit
An investigation has been launched after Xena Georgiou, 20, died in hospital following a police chase. The BMW she was driving collided with a parked car in Sale, Greater Manchester, on Sunday evening, a spokesman for the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.
The police watchdog is investigating the circumstances leading up to the incident, which happened following a short pursuit involving Greater Manchester Police.
The spokesman said it had established that shortly before 8.30pm a police vehicle attempted to stop the BMW, which made off after the initial stop and then collided with a parked car on Marsland Road. The crash came after a pursuit by officers lasting about two minutes, the spokesman said.
A male passenger remains in a critical condition with life-threatening injuries and a female passenger was treated in hospital for her injuries, according to the IOPC.
IOPC regional director Catherine Bates said: “Our thoughts are with Xena’s family and friends, and all those affected. We have been in contact with her family to explain our role, offer advice and support, and to outline the next steps of our independent investigation. Our investigation is still in its very early stages and it is important that we establish all of the circumstances.
“There is a mandatory requirement for forces to refer to us incidents like this which result in death or serious injury and our investigation will thoroughly examine the circumstances of the police involvement, including whether appropriate policies and procedures were followed.”
The watchdog has obtained dashcam footage from the police vehicle, as well as body-worn video and initial accounts from the officers involved, the spokesman said.
In a statement via the IOPC, Xena's family paid tribute to the "joy and love" she brought to their lives. They said: "Our daughter Xena was a beautiful, loving and caring girl who has lost her life in tragic circumstances. This is heartbreaking for us all and there are no words to explain how we are feeling at this devastating time. We want to remember Xena for all the joy and love she brought to our lives; sadly taken away far too soon. We would kindly request our privacy is respected so, as a family, we can grieve for the loss of our gorgeous girl."