Brothers killed in fireball after crashing stolen car in Boothstown

Leigh Journal: The scene of the high speed crash in Boothstown where the brothers were killed The scene of the high speed crash in Boothstown where the brothers were killed

TWO brothers were killed when the car they had stolen exploded into a fireball, an inquest heard.

Scott Best and Robert Crooks died when the stolen Audi S4 they were in smashed into a garden wall and parked vehicles on Leigh Road, Boothstown, on February 7.

Witnesses — who have been praised by Bolton area coroner Alan Walsh — rushed to their aid following the horror smash.

Seven minutes after the car was stolen from a house in Farnworth it was spotted by a police officer on patrol in Walkden and PCs John Jacques and Mark Burrows saw it head, at high speed together with a grey vehicle, along Leigh Road towards Boothstown.

Other drivers described how the Audi was travelling at up to 100mph, weaving in and out of traffic.

Pedestrian John Kane was walking to a pub quiz with his family as it crashed just metres away from him. He said: “I heard the skid and heard the bang and I saw the car up in the air.”

Pedestrians and passing motorists tried to rescue the brothers, but were beaten back by the intensity of the flames and two police officers also tried - without success - to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher.

Pathologist Charles Wilson said Robert Crooks, aged 33, suffered severe multiple injuries and would have died almost instantly.

His 27-year-old brother, Scott Best, who was thought to have been driving the car, suffered fractured ribs and died as a result of inhaling poisonous gases from the fire and burns.

The court heard how both men had used cannabis, had been drinking and used sedatives before the crash and Mr Crooks had also taken methadone. Neither had a driving licence.

Retired DCI John Brennan, from Greater Manchester Police’s professional standards branch, carried out an investigation into the conduct of PCs Jacques and Burrows. They were cleared of any wrongdoing.

Mr Walsh concluded that both men died as a result of a road traffic collision and the inquest was told that no further police action is being taken about the theft of the Audi.

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