A THREE-car crash following a police pursuit in Blackburn has been referred to the policing watchdog.

The collision in Preston New Road, Blackburn close to the Texaco petrol station, left a 20-year-old woman with leg injuries shortly after 6pm.

Police have confirmed that officers were tailing a Vauxhall Insignia, which they believed had been taken without consent, when it collided with a Volkswagen Polo and a parked car as it turned onto Preston New Road.

The 20-year-old driver of the Polo had to be cut free from the vehicle by Blackburn firefighters.

She was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital but her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

An investigation is ongoing to identify and arrest the Insignia driver, who fled from the scene.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “At around 6.05pm on Thursday a Vauxhall Insignia car, which was believed to have been stolen, was being followed by a patrol car on St Silas Road, Blackburn.

“As the Vauxhall turned onto Preston New Road it collided with a Volkswagen Polo.”

The incident has been voluntarily referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) by the force.

“The male driver of the Vauxhall made off from the scene and inquiries are now on-going to trace him,” added the spokesman.

“The incident has been voluntarily referred to the IPCC so it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this stage.”

Nearby residents, who heard the collision, came out of their houses to see what was going on.

The road was closed in both directions for around four hours as paramedics, police and firefighters dealt with the incident.

A Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Three cars were in the collision and two fire engines and crews from Blackburn were assigned to the incident.

“Firefighter used hydraulic equipment to rescue a woman trapped in one of the cars and she was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

An IPCC spokesperson said:

“On Thursday evening Lancashire Police made us aware of a serious road traffic incident that took place on Preston New Road in Blackburn.  The scene was secured by the force and we await further information about the incident so we can assess if an investigation is required.” 

Anyone with information about the incident was urged to call police on 101.