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Rolls Royces lead funeral cortege for father killed beside friend while being chased by police

Nearly 200 Travellers paraded through Salford today in a convoy on their way to the funeral of a father who was killed with his friend following a high-speed police chase.

They flouted coronavirus restrictions preventing gatherings of more than 30 people at funerals to honour Tommy Sharps, 29, who died while being pursued by police.

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Charities have claimed that Travellers are more vulnerable to Covid-19 than most people as those living in trailers may make it difficult to limit the spread of the virus within camps, and may not have access to sanitation and healthcare. 

Eyewitnesses said between 150 and 200 Travellers drove behind Sharp’s hearse from one Traveller site on Dantzic Street to a second site on Duchy Road.

They called the parade ‘heartwarming’, adding: ‘The amount of people Tommy knew was unbelievable. I guess from the turnout he was a very popular guy.’

Last night 100 mourners packed a marquee at a beer-fuelled wake for Sharp and revved the engines of their Lamborghinis and Rolls-Royces in tribute. 

Sharp and his friend Paddy Connors, 36, were killed when a car they were in crashed into two other cars during a police chase.

The police watchdog said that the Mercedes was instructed to stop by an unmarked police car after it was seen speeding through Salford. 

Nearly 200 Travellers paraded through Salford today in a convoy on their way to the funeral of a father who was killed with his friend following a high-speed police chase

They flouted coronavirus restrictions preventing gatherings of more than 30 people at funerals to honour Tommy Sharps, 29, who died while being pursued by police

Paddy Connors, left, and Tommy Sharp, right, were killed during a high-speed police chase

Paddy Connors, left, and Tommy Sharp, right, were killed during a high-speed police chase

Following the minute-long pursuit, the Mercedes collided with two Volkswagen Passats, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) added. The collision happened at around 11.40pm last Wednesday.

The driver of the first Passat escaped injury, but the driver of the second VW, a taxi, suffered minor injuries.

Two women who were passengers in the back were taken to hospital with serious injuries not thought to be life-threatening, the IOPC said.

IOPC Regional Director Amanda Rowe told MailOnline: ‘The loss of these two men was a tragic incident and my thoughts are with their families and friends at this difficult time.

Nearly 200 Travellers paraded through Salford today in a convoy on their way to the funeral of a father who was killed with his friend following a high-speed police chase

Eyewitnesses said between 150 and 200 Travellers drove behind Sharp’s hearse from one Traveller site on Dantzic Street to a second site on Duchy Road

Eyewitnesses said between 150 and 200 Travellers drove behind Sharp’s hearse from one Traveller site on Dantzic Street to a second site on Duchy Road

‘When someone dies following contact with the police, it is mandatory for forces to refer the matter to the IOPC. 

‘We will be considering in car footage, CCTV and witness statements to establish the circumstances of this incident and whether the local and national guidelines and procedures were followed.

‘We will continue to keep the families of Mr Connors and Mr Sharp updated on our progress, as well as the force and the coroner.’

In an earlier statement, Greater Manchester Police said: ‘At around 11.40pm on Wednesday, September 23, police observed a vehicle being driven at speed on Frederick Road, Salford.

‘Officers initiated a pursuit and the vehicle in question collided with two third party vehicles.

Last night 100 mourners packed a marquee at a beer-fuelled wake for Sharp and revved the engines of their Lamborghinis and Rolls-Royces in tribute

Last night 100 mourners packed a marquee at a beer-fuelled wake for Sharp and revved the engines of their Lamborghinis and Rolls-Royces in tribute 

Scores of mourners flouted coronavirus restrictions to pay tribute to Tommy Sharp, 29, who died in a collision during a high-speed police pursuit

Scores of mourners flouted coronavirus restrictions to pay tribute to Tommy Sharp, 29, who died in a collision during a high-speed police pursuit

Supercars including a Lamborghini and a Rolls-Royce were revved by mourners at the Salford wake, while floral tributes spelled out 'film star'

Supercars including a Lamborghini and a Rolls-Royce were revved by mourners at the Salford wake, while floral tributes spelled out ‘film star’

‘Two men from the vehicle in question were sadly pronounced dead a short time later.

‘One man and two women from a third party vehicle were taken to hospital with serious injuries. No arrests have been made.

‘In line with normal procedure, this incident has been referred to GMP’s Professional Standards Branch and the IOPC.’

Sharp lived with his wife and young children in Salford. Nicknamed ‘Mush’, he was described by friends and family as ‘the life of the party’ and a ‘loving and caring dad, husband, brother and uncle’. 

Connors leaves behind a wife and four children, and lived in Wigan. 

Around 100 mourners packed a marquee at a beer-fuelled wake last night for a father killed alongside a friend in a horror crash while being chased by police

Around 100 mourners packed a marquee at a beer-fuelled wake last night for a father killed alongside a friend in a horror crash while being chased by police

The wake comes as Manchester was branded the UK’s coronavirus capital after its infection rate increased more than 15-fold since local lockdown was brought in.

Manchester’s 529.4 cases per 100,000 people is the highest weekly rate recorded in the pandemic.

This is higher than the 20 per 100,000 it experienced at the end of July when local lockdowns were enforced in Manchester and the surrounding areas of Salford, Bury, Trafford, Tameside and Rochdale.

But a lack of tests during the spring means it is impossible to accurately compare between now and then. It may have been considerably higher at other points in March and April.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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