Avon & Somerset Constabulary have said that the driver of a vehicle that struck and killed two cyclists on a tandem in Bristol yesterday afternoon had ignored an indication to stop from a police officer. The victims have been named as husband and wife Ross and Clare Simons, respectively aged 34 and 30.
Two arrests have so been made in connection with the incident, a 38-year-old man on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and a 35-year-old woman on suspicion of dangerous driving, but police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to the incident, which happened in Hanham at around 4pm.
In a statement released this morning, the police force said that a little before 4pm, an officer had noticed a Citroen Picasso being driven along Lower Hanham Road at speed and despite indicating to the driver to stop, it carried on.
The officer followed the vehicle in their car but lost sight of it almost immediately, and a short time after it hit another vehicle before striking Mr and Mrs Simons, who died at the scene.
Police have confirmed to road.cc that the situation was not a pursuit, as has been reported elsewhere, because that would require authorisation from higher up in the chain of command and would also involve the police vehicle immediately following the suspect, which was not the case here.
Inspector Frazer Davey of Avon & Somerset Constrabulary’s Collision Investigation Team commented: "Following investigations overnight the circumstances of this collision have become much clearer.
“However I would appeal to anyone who witnessed this incident or saw this car in the area shortly before the collision to come forward and contact us.”
Anyone who has information is requested to call police on 101 or visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk.
"This is a tragic incident in which two people have needlessly lost their lives. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with their families," added Inspector Davey.
Police added that the case has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. That reflects standard procedure in any fatality in which police have been involved in some way.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.