Grandad, 54, killed after car being chased by police ploughs into pedestrians stood outside Newcastle pub
A DAD-of-three was killed when a car which had earlier been involved in a police chase ploughed into him outside a pub.
Paul Collinson, 54, was having a cigarette around midnight on Sunday when a VW Passat lost control and careered onto the pavement, hitting him and another person.
They were rushed to hospital but Paul died later from his injuries.
Three people who were in the car were also taken to hospital, one with serious injuries.
Just minutes before the smash the car had been involved in a police pursuit but officers abandoned it because it was too dangerous.
Northumbria Police referred the case to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Following an overwhelming response from the public, Paul’s three children Donna, Jessica and Paul today issued a statement on behalf of the whole family.
The statement said: “We just wanted to say how grateful we all are as a family for the amazing response we’ve seen from the community.
“It has been amazing to see how much our dad was truly loved by everyone. He had an infectious smile as big as his heart.
“Even though he’s gone we know that he will live on in people’s heart through their memories and the stories they will tell of him.
“Our hearts are broken and we love him more than he could ever know.
“We would be grateful if our privacy could be respected at this difficult time as we come to terms with Paul’s death.”
Earlier his daughter Jessica said online: “Doesn’t seem real going that fast KILLS PEOPLE!!!”
Step-daughter Jodey Stroud, 23, added: “I’m devastated. It is a shock for everyone.
“When he got with my mam he took us all on, he was there for us. He was respected by everyone.”
Northumbria Police were initially alerted to an incident in Walker, Newcastle, at around 10pm on Sunday in which two cars were damaged.
Inquiries revealed that a white VW Passat may have been involved and around midnight officers spotted the car in the Walker area.
They gave chase but it quickly became too dangerous and they pulled off.
A couple of minutes later the car lost control as it passed the County Hotel pub, where Paul, a former removals driver, was outside having a cigarette.
He called in most days at closing time to walk his partner Debbie Stroud home after her shift as a barmaid.
Jodey said: “My mam has heard a bang, ran out and spoke to him, told him to hold on.
“Paul went under the car. It was really bad, no one could get next to him.
“I’m devastated for my mam. He was like her soul mate. He was a good step-dad, I can’t praise him enough.
“We all respected him because he made my mam happy.”
A local woman added: “I heard a giant bang just after midnight. It sounded like an explosion. There were loads of sirens and the police cars and fire brigade arrived.
“I went outside and you could hear horrendous screaming coming from the car. There were four people inside, two men and two women. I heard someone shout that there was a man trapped underneath the car.
“The driver was a young lad. He was able to get out of the car all right. The others were helped out by the fire brigade.
“Paul was a lovely lad. He would always go to the pub at closing time to make sure Debbie got home all right.”
Paul lived in a flat near the pub where neighbours also paid tribute.
One woman said: “He was a lovely man, he had a heart of gold.
“He never had a bad word to say about anybody. We are going to put some flowers at the door for him.”
Musician Matthew Buckley, 44, added: “He was a nice, very quiet guy.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said officers spotted the Passat a couple of hours after the original incident.
He added: “Officers signalled for it to stop, and a short pursuit began, but the Passat drove off and officers lost sight of the vehicle.
“A short time later officers received a report that the vehicle in question had collided with two pedestrians at the County Hotel pub.
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“At the time of the collision officers were not in pursuit of the vehicle.
“Both pedestrians were taken to hospital with serious injuries. One of them, a 54-year-old man, has since sadly passed away.
“Our thoughts remain with his family at this difficult time.”
A spokeswoman for the IOPC said: “We have begun an independent investigation.
“We understand, at this time, that the pursuit was abandoned before the crash happened.”
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