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14th Jun 2022

Boy 15, arrested and three dead after ‘stolen’ van drove wrong way down motorway and hit taxi

Steve Hopkins

The teenage driver and another teenager remain in hospital but don’t have life-threatening injuries

A 15-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of causing death after a van being driven the wrong way down a motorway hit a taxi head-on.

The taxi driver, 28, his customer, aged 49, and an 18-year-old passenger in the van died following the crash on the M606 near Chain Bar roundabout in Bradford around 10.45pm on Monday.  The teenager died in hospital Tuesday. A 17-year-old is still being treated in hospital, but his injuries are not considered life-threatening.

The 15-year-old driver also remains in hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Reports suggest the van may have been stolen, as it failed to stop for police, but West Yorkshire Police have not confirmed this.

The two men who died in the taxi have been named as Simon McHugh and cabbie Sohail Ali. The teen who died in hospital has been named as Kyden Leadbeater.

West Yorkshire Police said the van failed to stop for marked police cars before going the wrong way around the roundabout and onto the southbound carriage of the motorway towards Bradford.

Relatives of the taxi passenger, who was reportedly returning home after his shift, have paid tribute to him.

Andrew Ingham wrote: “My cousin Simon McHugh was travelling home last night after finishing his shift at work, he was travelling in a taxi on the M606 at 22:45 when the taxi was hit by a van travelling the wrong way being followed by the police. Unfortunately Simon died at the scene.

“To say I’m devastated is an understatement. Rest in peace Simon you will be missed.”

Simon brother, Alastair McHugh, shared the same statement. Simon, MailOnline reported, was the head chef at the Jurys Inn, Bradford city centre.

The force has referred the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct as a police vehicle was in the area at the time of the crash.

An IPOC spokesperson said: “We understand that a Ford Transit van failed to stop for police before it was involved in a collision with a taxi after the van entered the M606 on the wrong side of the carriageway.

“IOPC investigators are attending the scene and the police post-incident procedure.”

The motorway was closed overnight and was reopened at around 10am Tuesday.

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