IPCC investigating death of Chinese student struck by police car in Birmingham

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the recent police vehicle collision in Birmingham in which a 24 year-old Chinese student sadly died.  

The collision, which took place in Newtown Row, Newtown at around 7 pm on Wednesday 4th April 2012 was referred to the IPCC by West Midlands Police.

An investigator was deployed to carry out an initial assessment of the circumstances and it has since been decided an independent investigation by the IPCC will be carried out.

Xuan Wei Zhang, 24 was crossing Newtown Row carriageway on foot at a traffic light controlled pedestrian crossing when he was struck by an unmarked BMW police car travelling in the outside lane. The IPCC has viewed onboard CCTV footage from the police car which indicates its audible emergency warning equipment was activated at the time of the incident.

The IPCC is appealing for any witnesses to the collision to contact them by telephoning 0800 096 9074 or emailing [email protected]

The IPCC has had an initial meeting with and expressed condolences to Mr Zhang’s family, who have flown in from China.

The IPCC will be gathering accounts from officers, including the two uniformed officers in the unmarked BMW, looking at statements from a number of witnesses, and reviewing footage from onboard CCTV as well as other cameras in the vicinity.

The investigation will examine the speed the police vehicle was travelling, road conditions, police logs, audio recordings between the officers in the car and the police control room and whether the police driver followed relevant policies and training.

IPCC Commissioner, Rachel Cerfontyne said: “This is very distressing time for all those involved and in particular I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Zhang for their terrible loss. Our independent investigation is underway and we will be examining all the circumstances of this tragic incident. We would be grateful for anyone who witnessed the collision who has not already come forward to contact the IPCC.”  

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