This is the first picture to surface of the refugee struck down by a police car last night
This is the first picture to surface of a 26-year-old Eritrean refugee who died when a police car hit her last night.
The patrol car hit the woman, named locally as Luam Gebremariam, during an emergency call as she walked next to a main road in Walthamstow, East London, at about 11.45pm last night.
The car stopped at the scene and the officers gave the woman first aid before paramedics from London Ambulance Service and Air Ambulance arrived.
Today a picture of the victim was left at the crash site, along with touching tributes from staff at the YMCA where she was staying.
A 50-year-old woman, who lives just yards from the scene, said she knew the victim, who had been staying at the YMCA for about 18 months.
‘The girl was crossing outside my door,’ she said. ‘She lived in the YMCA. The car had a huge dent in and her body was thrown all the way down the road, you can see it must have been going very fast.’
Police are pictured at the scene in Walthamstow, east London, this morning following the crash last night
Police and paramedics are pictured at the scene in Walthamstow, east London, last night after a force vehicle hit a 21-year-old
Police cars are pictured on the emergency call in Walthamstow, east London, last night after reports a man was threatening people
Scotland Yard detectives were working to trace her next of kin, ‘who are believed to be outside the UK’. Forest Road, where the incident happened, has been closed.
One witness tweeted this morning that he had seen least five police cars and a forensic van at a junction by The Bell pub.
The woman said that she heard a banging at the door – it was her 18-year-old son, sobbing and shouting.
Officers gave the woman first aid at the scene last night (pictured: patrol cars at the accident site) but she sadly died
‘My son saw it all,’ she said. ‘He was coming back from being out with his friend and he came running and knocked on the door.
‘He was crossing the road at the same time as her, he said the policeman killed the girl.
‘I asked how he knew she was dead and he said ‘mummy, anyone hit at that speed and thrown that far would be dead’.
‘The police car was speeding. The impact moved her to the other end, forward towards the traffic lights. Her shoe was on the other side of road, just lying there.
‘My son called the ambulance and the officer who was there was doing CPR, but it was clear she was dead. He is in shock, I am worried about him.’
The police were on an emergency call attending to reports of a man who was said to be threatening members of the public when the car hit the woman
The collision happened last night on this road in Walthamstow, East London (file picture)
Her son, who wished to remain anonymous, said he saw the woman’s body being ‘thrown into the air’ and ‘sliding across the road’.
‘Me and my mate hang out at the YMCA and we were leaving, it was around 11.45pm,’ he said. ‘We heard the sirens and saw the blue flashing lights. Then we heard him beep the car’s horn.
‘Two seconds later we see a body slide across the road. We thought it was a fox. If the curb wasn’t there, then she would have have gone further.
‘We ran over there and shouted. The policeman was panicking. I think she was crushed and the car was a write off. The windscreen was shattered. She was thrown up and slid across the road.’
Gilbert James, 44, who lives on the road where the collision happened, said that he ‘heard a loud bang and police sirens’.
When he came out to investigate he said he ‘saw the person lying on the floor’. According to Mr James there was a ‘big impact’ and the police car window screen had been ‘completely smashed’.
‘The police officer driving appeared in shock’ but ‘no police officers appeared injured’, he said.
A YMCA spokesman confirmed the young woman lived at the residence on Forest Road.
He said: ‘A resident at YMCA Walthamstow was involved in a fatal car incident last night on Forest Road. The road has been shut as an investigation takes place.
‘YMCA St Paul’s Group is shocked and saddened by this news and wishes to extend its condolences to the family and friends of the resident.’
Officers said that the police car had been responding to an emergency call to a man threatening members of the public at a location in Walthamstow.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘The Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed, as has the Independent Office for Police Conduct.’
A Tfl spokesman tweeted: ‘Collision on the A503 Forest Road resulting in the road being closed between Chingford Road and Shernhall Street. Use alternative route.’
And Waltham Forest Council added: ‘Forest Road between the Bell Junction and Shernhall Street in Walthamstow is closed until further notice due to an accident.
‘Drivers are advised to avoid the area until the road reopens. Please follow signs and take care. Access to the Town Hall will be via Farnan Ave.’