The parents of three-year-old Leo Durrington, who was critically injured by a stolen van being pursued by police, have issued a plea for information to help catch the offenders.
Shortly after 10.35am today (Tuesday), officers were on patrol in Leigh when they attempted to stop a stolen vehicle on Wigan Road.
The white Ford Transit Connect van failed to stop for officers and during a brief pursuit, the van collided with a three-year-old boy.
The van failed to stop at the scene and fled towards Twist Lane.
The officers immediately stopped and administered first aid to the boy before paramedics and the air ambulance arrived at the scene.
The child has been taken to hospital where he remains in a critical condition.
Following enquiries, the van has since been recovered nearby and officers are working to trace those responsible with the support of the police helicopter and police dogs.
The incident has been referred to our Professional Standard’s Branch in line with normal force policy.
Inspector Danny Byrne, of GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This was a horrendous incident that has left a three year old boy in hospital fighting for his life and we are doing all we can to support his family at this incredibly difficult time.
“Our investigation is continuing very quickly as we have deployed several resources – including the helicopter and police dogs - to support our efforts to trace those responsible.
“I am urging anyone that thinks they might have seen the van throughout the morning or have any information, no matter how small or insignificant it might seem, to please get in touch as soon as possible.
“Even the smallest piece of information could be the key to us finding those responsible so please call police.”
Police Sergeant Lee Westhead, of GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This horrendous incident has left Leo fighting for his life and has devastated his family, friends and the community.
“The driver showed absolutely no regard for Leo or his family as he fled the scene and continues to evade police.
“The van we have recovered has damage to the passenger side headlight and is missing the passenger side door mirror. We have released images of the van and are appealing to anyone that saw it over the last couple of days to give us a call.
“Myself, along with Leo’s family are urging anyone with any information to please get in touch as a matter of urgency.”
Anyone with information should call GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 0161 856 4741 or 101 quoting reference number 628 of 30/10/2018.
Reports can also be made anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.