TWO teenagers have been arrested by police investigating a hit-and-run that has left a three-year-old boy in a critical condition.

Leo Durrington is fighting for his life after being hit by a stolen van in Leigh yesterday morning, Tuesday.

Last night detectives confirmed they have made two arrests.

A 16-year-old boy is being questioned on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, failing to report a collision and failing to stop following a collision.

A 15-year-old boy was also arrested on suspicion of allowing himself to be carried in a stolen vehicle.

Leigh Journal:

Three-year-old Leo Durrington

Police Sergeant Lee Westhead, of GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Thanks to the quick work of our officers, and information received from the public, we have managed to make two arrests following this horrendous incident earlier today.

“I would like to thank everyone who has come forward to police with information so far but our investigation does not stop here, and I would ask anyone with information about what happened to please get in touch with police.

“Leo is still in a critical condition in hospital, and my thoughts are with him and his family at this incredibly difficult time.”

Police were on patrol at around 10.35am on Wigan Road in Leigh when they tried to stop a stolen Ford Transit Connect.

During the pursuit the van hit three-year-old Leo while he was in his mum's arms.

His nine-year-old sister was with them when the incident occured and is unharmed.

The van failed to stop at the scene and fled towards Twist Lane.

Officers immediately stopped and gave first aid to Leo before paramedics and an air ambulance arrived at the scene.

Police held a press conference tonight at Greater Manchester Police HQ where Sgt Westhead said: "It is an absolutely dreadful collision.
"The fact that the driver left behind the little boy is unthinkable.

"We will not rest until we have caught him.

"The driver knew what he did and exactly what he left behind."

The van was stolen in the borough on Monday, October 29, and was found after the incident on St John's Street in Abram.

It is currently being forensically examined.

The driver is described as white and in his early twenties. It is believed he had a passenger matching the same description.

Leigh Journal:

The van has since been recovered nearby and officers are working to trace those responsible with the support of the police helicopter and police dogs.

Michael Green, from Leigh, said: "I was first on the scene. I was walking towards the Tamar when the van went round the corner.

"It hit the corner of the kerb. My first thought was that the exhaust had come off on the pavement but it was a boy who was on the floor.

"I ran over and the Mum was hysterical. The police van stopped, and they called an ambulance and gave him first aid. 

"I held the boy and give him my jacket to keep him warm and helped him to stay awake.

"An off duty nurse arrived before the air ambulance which took the pressure off.

"I am just happy I was there so I could help."

Landlord of The Tamar pub, Sam Hughes, witnessed the entire incident from her CCTV cameras at the pub.

The 31-year-old mum-of-three, said: “I was eating my breakfast this morning and I just happened to look at the CCTV and witnessed the whole thing.

“The speeding car went past and I could see it was a police chase, the next thing it mounted the kerb and hit the little boy who I presume was with his mum.

“I ran outside straight away to see if I could help but I saw that the police car that had been chasing the other car had stopped and officers were assisting, the helicopter landed a bit after that.

“Seeing that honestly it knocked me for six, I’m a mum myself and they are back at school now, but some kids only go back next week, so it easily could have been my kids.

“It was so quick from beginning to end really, it all happened in a blink of an eye.

“I just hope the little boy will be all right.”

Leigh Journal:

One resident added: "I've lived here for years and we've been wanting railings round the corner and sleeping policemen put on the roads 
There's always cars flying round here at speed."

Wigan Road remains closed between Nel Pan Lane near The Tamar pub and Hill Crest Avenue while officers are at the scene.

Inspector Danny Byrne, of GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This was a horrendous incident that has left a four year old boy in hospital fighting for his life and we are doing all we can to support his family at this incredibly difficult time.

“Our investigation is continuing very quickly as we have deployed several resources – including the helicopter and police dogs - to support our efforts to trace those responsible.

“I am urging anyone that thinks they might have seen the van throughout the morning or have any information, no matter how small or insignificant it might seem, to please get in touch as soon as possible.

“Even the smallest piece of information could be the key to us finding those responsible so please call police.”

Leigh Journal:

If you have any information contact GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 0161 856 4741 or 101 quoting reference number 628 of October 30.

Alternatively get in touch with Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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