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3 October 2011, 17:27
The police watchdog is to investigate a collision in Salford in which a police van hit a 13-year-old boy who is fighting for his life.
The marked vehicle struck the teenager on a pedestrian crossing in Swinton on Saturday while its driver was responding to an incident.
The boy, named locally as Lucas Hibbert, was taken to Salford Royal Hospital where he is in a critical but stable condition.
The crash occurred at 6.20pm as the officer was driving along Chorley Road in response to an incident in Little Hulton. It is understood the vehicle's emergency warning equipment was activated at the time.
The officer has been suspended from driving duties while inquiries are carried out, police said.
The incident was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission by Greater Manchester Police shortly after the incident.
A decision has now been taken by the IPCC to begin an independent investigation.
An IPCC spokesperson said:
'Our thoughts are with the young boy and we all hope he makes a quick and full recovery.
'Our investigation has now begun and will be overseeing a full collision scene analysis as well as viewing CCTV footage of the incident. But we also need the help of the public.
'We are appealing for anyone who witnessed any part of the incident to contact us. Any information you have, no matter how insignificant you may think it is, could prove crucial to our investigation.'