Teen dies in e-bike collision with ambulance after police pursuit

A tragic accident in Salford has left a 15-year-old boy dead after his e-bike collided with an ambulance. Saul Cookson was being followed by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) traffic officers when his e-bike crashed into a North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) vehicle. The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has launched an investigation into the incident.

Saul’s mother, Emma Frendo, described her son as “the most sweetest, kindest boy ever” and said he was “loved by all that met him.” Saul had been riding a black off-road Sur-Ron e-bike when officers followed him along Fitzwarren Street and Lower Seedley Road before the collision occurred on Langworthy Road. At the time, the NWAS vehicle was not on an active call but was being driven back to a nearby ambulance station. The ambulance crew immediately treated Saul before taking him to hospital, where he later passed away.

Family, friends, and neighbours have paid tribute to Saul, leaving flowers, candles, cards, and heartfelt messages at the scene. The accident has also raised concerns about the availability and use of high-powered e-bikes in the local community. Mike McCusker, lead member for transport at Salford City Council, expressed that there is “growing concern” about e-bikes, particularly young riders without helmets using them. He noted that while some e-bikes have a limited speed of 15mph, unregulated ones can reach speeds of up to 60mph, and current regulations are not keeping pace with technological advancements in the e-bike industry.

The IOPC is gathering evidence, including dashcam footage from the police vehicle, and has taken initial statements from two police officers who are being treated as witnesses. According to the IOPC, there is “no indication at this early time… of direct physical contact between the police vehicle and the e-bike”, but examinations of both are ongoing. IOPC regional director Catherine Bates emphasised the importance of understanding the events leading up to the incident, including the actions and decision-making of the police before the collision.

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The investigation is ongoing, and anyone who witnessed the collision or has dashcam footage of the events leading up to it is encouraged to come forward.

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Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

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