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Pair killed in police chase were expecting baby on Valentine’s Day | UK News

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An unborn baby who died when her teenage parents were killed in a head-on crash after a police pursuit was due to have been born on Valentine’s Day.

Patrick McDonagh, 19, and his 18-year-old wife Shauna, died on the A40 near East Acton in west London just before 9pm on Sunday.

Their heartbroken family said the couple were “very much looking forward to the birth of their daughter” and had already picked out the name Sienna Marie.

Investigators said on Thursday the newlywed couple were not present at the burglary that prompted the officers to give chase.

The car hit a coach after driving onto the wrong side of the carriageway. Credit: Peter Manning
Image:
The car hit a coach after driving onto the wrong side of the carriageway. Pic: Peter Manning

A family statement said: “Patrick and Shauna were a young couple who had recently got married and were very much in love.

“Patrick was a devoted husband to Shauna and they were very much looking forward to the birth of their daughter Sienna Marie who was due to be born on Valentine’s Day.”

The couple’s Renault Scenic strayed on to the wrong side of the carriageway and hit a coach. They died at the scene.

A second man in the vehicle was taken to hospital for treatment.

About 20 minutes before the crash, police had been called to reports of an aggravated burglary in Harrow and began a car chase.

A man and a woman were pronounced dead at the scene. Pic: @madeincos
Image:
A second man in the vehicle was taken to hospital for treatment. Pic: @madeincos

It is understood that police were pursuing the Renault for about 10 minutes but had stopped before the crash, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

“It has now been confirmed, as part of a separate police investigation, that the occupants of the Renault were not present at the time of an aggravated burglary reported to have taken place in Harrow,” it said in a statement.

The IOPC said its investigation would look at “the information the police had and the rationale for the pursuit”.

A police helicopter was tracking the car when it crashed.

Officers’ accounts and footage from the helicopter, police cars, body-worn cameras, CCTV and in-car data will be gathered by investigators as evidence.

The site of the crash on the A40 in Acton. Pic: Google Maps
Image:
The site of the crash on the A40 in Acton. Pic: Google Maps

Shortly after the chase the Met Police made a mandatory referral to the IOPC.

IOPC regional director Jonathan Green said: “My thoughts are with the families and friends of Patrick and Shauna, those injured and all those affected by this incident.

“It is important that we now establish all of the circumstances surrounding this collision.

“We have therefore launched an independent investigation into the events leading to the collision and immediately deployed our investigators to attend the scene and the post-incident procedure.”

Last month, the IOPC investigated four separate fatal incidents involving patrol cars across the UK over the course of a week.

PCSO Holly Burke was killed by an alleged hit-and-run driver who struck her car while being chased by police in the West Midlands on 22 January; a 26-year-old refugee from Eritrea died after being hit by a police car responding to a 999 call in east London on the same day.

Jessie Whitehead, 74, was riding a mobility scooter when she was hit by a marked squad car as it responded to an emergency in Warwickshire on 23 January, and Paul Radcliffe, 18, was killed by a car which had failed to stop for police in Leicestershire on 19 January.

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