Inquiry launched after unmarked police car hits and kills foreign student

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An investigation into the death of a foreign student who was hit by a police car was under way yesterday as the young man’s parents travelled from China to his UK home.

The 24-year-old, who has not been named, died on Thursday after sustaining serious head and back injuries when he was struck by an unmarked police car in Newtown, Birmingham, on Wednesday night.

West Midlands Police said he was hit by a black BMW responding to reports of a stolen vehicle.

The collision happened as the student began crossing the road close to Newtown’s shopping centre, at around 7pm.

A police spokesman said the car was being driven by a uniformed officer who has since been suspended from driving police vehicles.

The car was not involved in a pursuit at the time.

The victim was studying for an MSc in data networks and security at Birmingham City University. He was living with friends in the Newtown area.

Police said his family has been informed and his parents were flying to the UK.

A force spokesman said the man’s parents would be driven to Birmingham , where they would be supported by family liaison officers, working closely with interpreters and the Chinese Embassy.

The incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The West Midlands Police spokesman said the driver was suitably trained to drive police vehicles at speed on public roads and “remains active as a police officer”.

Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe said: “This was a tragic incident in which a young man has lost his life after being struck by an unmarked police car as he crossed the road.

“I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to the man’s family and friends during this very difficult time.

“I would like to assure them and the community, that a comprehensive investigation has been launched to establish the precise circumstances of the collision.”

Pro Vice-Chancellor Sally Westney, at Birmingham City University, said: “This has come as a huge shock to the faculty and the University. We would like to express our deepest sympathy and condolences to parents, family and friends.”