Three adults, aged 35, 41, and 50, were pronounced dead at the scene after a VW Golf ploughed into a VW Touran people carrier with seven occupants on Nov. 9.
“Prior to the collision, the VW Golf was involved in a pursuit with a police vehicle,” said a police statement.
Investigators say dashcam footage shows the police car did not collide with either vehicle involved in the crash.
A 1-year-old boy who was in the car was taken to hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
The three other passengers in the people carrier were taken to a local hospital.
A South Yorkshire Police statement at 11 a.m. on Nov. 10 said, “A 22-year-old woman currently remains in hospital in a critical condition. A second woman also remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition.”
“A 3-year-old girl was also taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.”
The occupants of the Golf, which was involved in a pursuit with a police vehicle, suffered only minor injuries.
The three men in the Golf, aged 17, 18 and 23, have not been named and have been arrested.
Police did not release information on the reason for the pursuit.
Local police are appealing for witnesses or those who caught the moment on dash cams to step forward.
The Independent Office For Police Conduct confirmed it had dispatched investigators to the scene to establish what had happened in the moments before the crash.
Regional Director Miranda Biddle said, “This is standard procedure when lives are lost following an incident involving the police.
“We have been able to view dash cam footage which confirms that although a pursuit did take place prior to the crash, there is no indication that the police vehicle collided with either of the vehicles involved. We have also obtained initial statements from the officers involved.”
Popular UK social media account Cop Humor warned against jumping to conclusions.
“Our thoughts are also with that/those Police Officer(s) involved and the guilt and self-doubt they must be experiencing. We’re all thinking of you, because, that could happen to ANYONE at any time. x”
Dan Jarvis, mayor of the Sheffield City region, tweeted: “Tragic news from Sheffield today. My thoughts are with the families of those who died, and with the local community in Darnall.”
Detective Chief Inspector Jude Ashmore, said in a statement, “I know the local community will be shocked and saddened to hear what happened last night and we will have officers in the area today to speak to residents, should they have any questions or concerns.”