TRIBUTES have been paid to a 22-year-old man who died when his car left the road and crashed through a barrier after being spotted driving at speed by an officer in an unmarked car.
Glenn Robinson was confirmed dead at the scene, near Grants Houses, between Easington Colliery and Horden, County Durham, shortly before midnight on Sunday.
His passenger, a 23-year-old man from Easington Colliery, was taken to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, for treatment to several injuries not considered serious.
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Mr Robinson, who lived with his parents in Bridge Road, Shotton Colliery, was returning from a night out with a friend when the accident happened.
In a statement, Mr Robinson’s family said this afternoon (Monday, February 11) : “Glenn was a kind and thoughtful young man whose death has devastated his family.
“He was the eldest of three children and was working for Durham County Council in the gardening division.
“He had the most fun-loving personality, was a popular and friendly character and was engaged to be married.”
A Durham force spokeswoman said an officer in an unmarked police vehicle saw a Citroen Saxo travelling at speed in the opposite direction on Essington Way, in nearby Peterlee, at about 11.40pm last night (Sunday, February 10).
She added that the unmarked car turned round to follow the vehicle but before any attempt was made to stop it, the Saxo left the carriageway and crashed through a concrete and metal barrier.
Inspector Ed Turner from the roads policing unit said: “This was a tragic death of a young man who was returning home from a night out with a friend.
“We are still working to establish why the car left the road.
“We know that an officer in an unmarked police car had seen the car being driven at speed along Essington Way and turned to follow it with the aim of getting it to stop.
“However, our inquiries have shown that there was no police pursuit in progress and at no time did Glenn fail to stop for the police.”
A post-mortem examination carried out by Home Office pathologist Dr Mark Egan found that death was due to head injuries.
A spokesman for the Independent Police Crime Commission said it had been notified of the accident and was assessing whether or not to investigate it. The coroner has been informed.
Any witnesses should ring Durham police on 101 and ask for the roads policing unit.
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