Pedestrian killed by car full of suspected robbers fleeing police in York Way

A man died after being hit by a car in York Way. Picture: Paul Convery

A man died after being hit by a car in York Way. Picture: Paul Convery - Credit: Archant

A 74-year-old man has died after a hit-and-run crash involving a group of suspected robbers fleeing police in York Way.

Officers were called at about 5.30pm yesterday to reports of a robbery in Hornsey Rise Gardens.

They spotted a suspicious vehicle in the Cally, and drove up to it at the junction with Copenhagen Street – but the car accelerated off and crashed into the elderly man, a pedestrian. He was taken to hospital but died early this morning.

David Brown was sitting in his front room when the victim was hit by the car.

He told the Gazette: “We were just in watching television, we have big glass window [facing into the street] and I just saw the top of then light pole shaking, so I immediately got up and saw a car had crashed into the traffic lights.

“Some lad got out and ran off.

“After that we realised there was an old man trapped underneath the traffic light itself. It was on top of him and the police had to pull it off him.”

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He described how police and paramedics soon arrived, along with a hovering helicopter which he didn’t see land.

“They were out there for quite a while trying to stabilise the guy,” David added. “You could see them struggling to keep him alive.

“The thing we found quite disgusting is the fact that one of the lads who got out of the car was just laughing, while the old man was fighting for his life.

“Fair enough whatever you did, but when you realise you had hurt someone how could you not show compassion? A mistake was one thing but laughing while an old man was knocked down on the floor? It’s sickening.

“It was completely crazy out there because it literally ripped the traffic light off and you could see all the wires hanging out.

“It could have been my wife and children crossing the road. It could have been an even greater disaster.”

A Scotland Yard spokesperson said: “The victim’s next of kin have yet to be informed. He has yet to be formally identified; a post-mortem will be held in due course.”

There are thought to have been four men in the car, all of whom got out and ran off.

Officers arrested three men nearby on suspicion of robbery and taking and driving away. They remain in police custody.

Scotland Yard’s Directorate of Professional Standards and the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which investigates deaths that involve contact with police, have been informed.

Do you know the man who died? Call Lucas at the news desk on 020 7433 0121 or email