A DRIVER has been arrested along with his two young passengers following a two-mile car chase around Sheffield - which ended when his vehicle destroyed a lamppost and smashed into the wall of a listed building.
The trio - the 24-year-old driver from Sheffield, and his two passengers, aged 23 and 16 - were travelling in a grey Volkswagen Golf which was flashed by police in the early hours on Blackstock Road, Gleadless, after it was spotted running a red light.
But, instead of stopping, the Golf screeched away and was pursued by officers to East Bank Road in Norfolk Park, where it collided with the lamppost and knocked down a wall at the Grade II-listed Queen’s Tower Lodge.
The males in the car suffered minor injuries, and were arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and failing to stop.
Chris Gothard, who owns the lodge where his architecture firm is based, said he felt ‘devastated’ when he saw the damage. He is facing a hefty repair bill.
“I think it’s going to cost me a fortune to get it fixed,” said Mr Gothard.
“If they weren’t insured then it’s going to be down to me. I was very disappointed when I saw the wall had been knocked down.
“Assuming all the stone is still there, it’ll be a matter of filling it out as best we can and getting a stonemason out.” The architect added: “It’s a retaining wall so the ground behind it is higher than the footpath level, which is an added complication. If there’s another serious bout of rain it could end up being a lot worse.”
A shop assistant in the nearby petrol station on East Bank Road said he saw around a dozen police cars racing up the street just after the shop opened at 5am.
“I saw lots of police vehicles come past, they started flying up the road,” said the worker, who didn’t want to be named.
“I didn’t see anything of the crash but there was a lot of activity at the top of the road.
“At that time of the morning it’s usually quiet so this was quite unusual.”
The Gothic-styled lodge was built in 1839, and was originally part of the Queen’s Tower development, constructed the same year as a tribute to Mary, Queen of Scots, who was imprisoned in Manor Lodge in the 1500s.
Yesterday engineers from Sheffield Council contractors Amey had placed cones and green plastic barriers around the crushed wall, and completely removed the damaged lamppost.
Thick black tyre marks were visible on the ground leading up to the crash site.
East Bank Road was closed between its junctions with Farm Road and Olive Grove Road until around 8.40am.
A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said the incident began at just before 5.15am yesterday, when the Golf failed to stop at a red light on Blackstock Road.
“There was then a short pursuit before the vehicle collided with a wall and a lamppost, resulting in damage to the vehicle,” he said.
“The three occupants in the car - the driver, a 24-year-old Sheffield man, and two others, a 16-year-old boy and a 23-year-old man - were taken to the Northern General Hospital with minor injuries.
“All three were arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and failure to stop.”