The four young men who died in a car crash in Bradford while being pursued by police have been named.
Murtza Chaudhry, 21, Arbaaz Hussain, 21, Zeeshan Khalid, 20, and Tayyab Siddique, 22, were travelling in the BMW when it crashed on Toller Lane at about 5.30am on Thursday.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has begun an investigation after it was revealed that the car was being followed by an unmarked police vehicle at the time of the crash.
The police watchdog said in a statement released on Friday: “We understand at this time that the grey BMW 1 Series car in which they were travelling was pursued for a short time, by an unmarked West Yorkshire Police car, due to excessive speed before the crash.”
The IOPC also said that there was “no indication” that the police vehicle involved made contact with the BMW prior to the crash.
Miranda Biddle, an IOPC regional director, said: “We have support in place for the families of those who have died.
“My thoughts are with them, and all those affected by this incident including all emergency services involved.”
A manager of a nearby coffee shop described those who died as “polite young men”, the Press Association reports.
Mohammed Rashid, 51, said that the people he believed to have been involved in the crash had been going to his shop since they were boys and claimed they were all friends.
He added: “It’s an absolute tragedy. Your heart just goes out to the families, to their parents.
“They were all polite young men, although I only knew them to greet and say hello to every now and then when they came in.”
Nearby resident Roger Wood, 67, said: “It woke me up really early in the morning, there was this really loud bang down the bottom of the road.
“It wasn’t until I woke up properly later in the morning that I found out what had happened, when one of my neighbours said they’d seen on the news that people had died. It’s horrendous, horrendous.”
Another nearby resident, who did not wish to be named, said that she had long-held concerns about safety on Toller Lane.
The mother of two said: “I was horrified when I first heard about it, but I wasn’t surprised when I heard that it was Toller Lane where it had happened.
“It’s known for being a bit of a speed-trap and there have been accidents down there in the past.”
Christine Yates, who lives less than a minute’s walk from the crash site, said that the car involved was “smashed up against a tree”.