Boy, 15, who died after crashing into a parked ambulance while on his electric bike in police chase is pictured as devastated tributes left at the scene in Salford
- Emergency services rushed to Langworthy Road in Salford yesterday afternoon
- Saul Cookson was rushed to hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly after
Heartbreaking tributes have been paid to a 15-year-old boy who died after crashing an electric bike into a parked ambulance – having earlier been followed by police.
Saul Cookson was taken to hospital after emergency services rushed to the incident in Langworthy Road, Salford, this afternoon, but died a short time later.
His parents attended the scene yesterday evening as ‘devastated’ friends and local residents paid tribute to the teenager.
Traffic officers began following the boy along Fitzwarren Street onto Lower Seedley Road at around 2pm, police have said, but they were prevented from following him further by a series of bollards. The fatal collision then took with the ambulance ‘a short time later’.
Greater Manchester Police has referred the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which is now leading the investigation into the fatal collision.
His cousin Jack Pennington posted a photograph of Saul alongside a poignant tribute on Instagram last night.
He said: ‘Everyone who knew Saul knew he was the nicest lad about, had a good heart, polite and have u like no tomorrow.
‘Can’t believe I’m writing this, no other word describes it other than shock. Don’t feel real in the slightest one of the best lads you could meet and I feel lucky to have called u my cousin.
‘Had some good times growing up me u r tom n Jacob n I can’t believe that’s just it. Shows wat a cruel world we’re living in. Miss u forever my brother. Can’t say goodbye just see you later my mate love you RIP Saul my brother’
Floral tributes were also left near the scene this evening, with one reading: ‘Saul. You will always have a special place in my heart. I love you loads my dude.’
Another said: ‘Saul gone but never forgotten. RIP I love you always keep smiling your cheeky smile.’
A cardboard sign had also been left tied to a fence, which read: ‘Kids on bikes don’t kill.’
An ambulance with a shattered windscreen was pictured within a police cordon erected around the scene of the incident this afternoon.
A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: ‘At around 2pm on Thursday, GMP traffic officers began following a boy riding an e-bike along Fitzwarren Street in Salford, onto Lower Seedley Road. Bollards prevented the police vehicle from continuing to follow the e-bike.
‘A short time later a road traffic collision occurred between the e-bike and an ambulance on Langworthy Road. The 15-year-old boy riding the e-bike sadly died.
‘In line with normal proceedings, the incident has been referred to IOPC who are now leading the investigation.
‘A cordon remains in place on Langworthy Road. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the boy who tragically died.’
An IOPC spokesperson added: ‘We are independently investigating the circumstances of a serious collision involving an e-bike and an ambulance in Salford on Thursday.
‘The rider of the bike, a 15-year-old boy, was taken to hospital where he sadly died. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones, as well as all those affected by this tragedy.
‘We were notified by Greater Manchester Police due to the fact a police vehicle had been following the e-bike shortly before the collision.
‘We have sent investigators to the scene of the collision, at the junction of Langworthy Road and Lower Seedley Road, as well as to the police post-incident procedures, to begin gathering evidence.
‘Our investigation is at a very early stage and we will provide further details once we are in a position to do so.’
It comes after 15-year-old Harvey Evans and 16-year-old Kyrees Sullivan were killed in an e-bike collision after being followed by a police van in Cardiff last month.
Their deaths sparked riots in the deprived council estate as police initially dismissed claims the boys were being chased by officers.
The families of the boys described them as ‘best friends since they were young’ and revealed their deaths had left their hearts ‘truly broken’.