Brighton sees pedestrian killed in crash by Vauxhall Astra being chased by police

  • Pensioner, 78, killed after being hit by a Vauxhall Astra in Brighton last night 
  • The vehicle was being pursued by police and did not stop after incident
  • It was later found abandoned in Brighton near the Concorde 2 nightclub
  • Sussex Police have arrested a 33-year-old man on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, drink driving and failing to stop for police 

By Joseph Curtis For Mailonline

Published: 06:36 EST, 11 January 2017 | Updated: 10:02 EST, 11 January 2017

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A pensioner has been killed in a hit-and-run crash after being struck by a car involved in a police chase.

The victim, aged 78, was hit by a Vauxhall Astra as it was being pursued by a police car through Brighton, East Sussex on Tuesday night at around 10pm.

The car did not stop at the scene and now detectives have launched a hunt to trace the driver following the crash in St James's Street.

A 33-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, drink driving, failing to stop for police and failing to report an accident, after handing himself in to police this morning.

Police are investigating after a pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Brighton (pictured) last night Police are investigating after a pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Brighton (pictured) last night

Police are investigating after a pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Brighton (pictured) last night

Forensic teams are at the scene in the seaside town this morning after the Vauxhall Astra hit a person while being chased by a police car Forensic teams are at the scene in the seaside town this morning after the Vauxhall Astra hit a person while being chased by a police car

Forensic teams are at the scene in the seaside town this morning after the Vauxhall Astra hit a person while being chased by a police car

Sussex Police say the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Officers say the car involved in the crash was found abandoned on the sea front at Madeira Drive near Concorde 2 night club.

St James's Street is currently closed while officers are on scene and an investigation is ongoing.

A police spokesman said: 'Officers pursued the car towards Brighton where the Vauxhall collided with a pedestrian on St James's Street. The pedestrian sadly died at the scene.'

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an investigation into what led up to the pursuit. 

Police are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward Police are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward

Police are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward

The Vauxhall did not stop at the scene, pictured, police confirmed, despite the collision The Vauxhall did not stop at the scene, pictured, police confirmed, despite the collision

The Vauxhall did not stop at the scene, pictured, police confirmed, despite the collision

Sergeant Richard Hornsey said: 'This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family of the victim at this time.

'We continue to appeal to anyone who saw what happened or has any other information to contact police here or on collision.appeal@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting Operation Beresford.'

Scenes of crime officers in white forensics suits combed the crash scene for clues as a tent stood in the middle of the sealed-off road.

Locals described their shock at the death. Pat Hogan, 70, said he knew the victim, who has not been formally identified, as a 'very nice, quiet man'.

Officers have cordoned off St James's Street, Brighton, while inquiries are ongoing Officers have cordoned off St James's Street, Brighton, while inquiries are ongoing

Officers have cordoned off St James's Street, Brighton, while inquiries are ongoing

Officers were seen loading a body into the back of a vehicle in the seaside town today, pictured Officers were seen loading a body into the back of a vehicle in the seaside town today, pictured

Officers were seen loading a body into the back of a vehicle in the seaside town today, pictured

Forensic teams were also spotted carrying away bags of evidence, pictured, from the scene Forensic teams were also spotted carrying away bags of evidence, pictured, from the scene

Forensic teams were also spotted carrying away bags of evidence, pictured, from the scene

Speaking at the scene, Mr Hogan said: 'I feel awful. It knocks you for six. If you knock someone down you have to stop, you don't just drive off.'

Barry Salvage, 68, who lives in the Kemptown area of the city, said: 'It's terrible. I hope they find whoever did it and bang them up.'

No details of the identity or age of the victim have been released by police. Some roads into Brighton were choked with traffic as police sealed off large sections of the Old Steine area.

A spokesman for the IPCC said: 'We were alerted by Sussex Police to the fatal road traffic incident in Brighton yesterday evening.

'The IPCC deployed investigators straight away and we have since begun an independent investigation into the circumstances of the police pursuit.'

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene but no information on age, gender or identity has been released yet The victim was pronounced dead at the scene but no information on age, gender or identity has been released yet

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene but no information on age, gender or identity has been released yet

The Vauxhall was later found abandoned on the sea front near the Concorde 2 nightclub, pictured The Vauxhall was later found abandoned on the sea front near the Concorde 2 nightclub, pictured

The Vauxhall was later found abandoned on the sea front near the Concorde 2 nightclub, pictured

Police say they the car had failed to stop for officers shortly before the incident in the Bear Road area of Brighton prompting the pursuit.

Scene of crime officers are currently carrying out a detailed search of the crash site.

Sussex Police are appealing for anyone who saw what happened or has any information to call 101 or email collision.appeal@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting serial 1346 of 10/01. 

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