A man has been arrested following a dramatic 17 mile police chase across Bristol and North East Somerset that saw seven people injured.
The chase began when a member of the public reported that a woman had been dragged into a Ford car against her will in Anchor Road, close to the city centre, just before midnight on 30 April.
A police pursuit saw a total of seven people, including the driver, injured in three separate incidents across Bristol.
The M32 was closed until Sunday morning, and an investigation into the police’s conduct has begun.
Officers have now revealed the crash was part of police chase – estimated to have been around 17 miles – in pursuit of a man in his mid-20s, following reports of concern for a woman’s welfare on Saturday.
Police have said a member of the public witnessed an incident in which a woman appeared to be pulled into a silver Ford car against her will on Anchor Road near the city centre shortly before 12am.
In a statement, a spokesperson from Avon and Somerset Police explained: “At just before midnight, a member of the public contacted police after witnessing an incident in which a woman appeared to be pulled into a silver Ford car against her will on Anchor Road.”
Within just a few hundred yards, the driver was involved in the first incident. Avon and Somerset police said: “During the course of the police pursuit, the Ford was involved in a collision with two pedestrians on St Augustine’s Parade who required medical attention for minor injuries.”
Then, a few minutes later, the pursuit had continued through the city centre and onto the M32, and at a spot between junction 2 for Eastville and junction 1 for the ring road and Filton, another collision happened.
Avon and Somerset police said: “A further collision occurred on the northbound carriageway of the M32 between the police car conducting the pursuit and third party vehicle.”
In that crash, police said three members of the public were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries – the occupants of the third car, bringing the total number of those injured during the incident to five.
The pursuit then continued around the A4174 ring road and ended at around 12.20am in Keynsham. The police said: “It was stopped by officers on Wellsway, Keynsham at around 12.20 am today (Sunday 1 May).
“One of the occupants of the Ford, a man his mid-20s, left the scene and was located by officers nearby. He was arrested for multiple offences including dangerous driving and failing to stop for police,” the police spokesperson said.