The family of three people seriously hurt in a horror crash with a suspected joyrider have paid an emotional tribute to the emergency services who cut the victims out of their car.
Three members of the same family were injured in the smash on Garstang Road, Preston.
One man, a 72-year-old grandfather, was on life support last night as police hunted at least two men who fled the scene. His son and grandson were also hurt.
The driver of an Audi, which collided with the family’s Vauxhall Zafira, was also hurt in the crash in Fulwood and was being held under arrest at a hospital 14 miles away in Chorley.
The 27-year-old, from the Bolton area, was being treated for a head injury and is due to be questioned on suspicion of the unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle
A relative of the three family members from Fulwood paid an emotional tribute to the emergency services for their rapid response at the scene.
Firefighters had to cut away the doors and boot to reach the casualties.
“I want to say thank you to them all for getting my family out in time,” said Jumanah Ali.
“If they hadn’t then they wouldn’t have been with us right now.”
Her grandad, Safiq Ali, was said to be “serious, but stable” in intensive care.
He was a front seat passenger in the Zafira which was in the middle of the four-car pile-up at the Black Bull junction of Garstang Road, not far from the family’s home in Fulwood.
Her father, Harun Ali, who was driving the car, was also treated in the intensive care unit at RPH for severe rib injuries and a dislocated arm. Doctors were last night considering possible surgery.
And her 16-year-old brother, Tahmid Ali, a backseat passenger, was treated for cuts to his head, face and arm.
Police believe the Audi may have been being driven erratically through Preston in the lead-up to the crash, and want to know if anyone saw people running away from it.
The police helicopter was deployed to search for suspects in the Fulwood area but was unsuccessful.
Stephanie Gardner said: “I’m not surprised, round there. I live nearby and all the young lads rally round like it’s Formula 1 – so dangerous.”
Sgt James Power, from the Preston Road Policing Unit, said: “This was a very serious incident which has resulted in two men ending up in Intensive Care in hospital.
“We are still trying to piece together exactly what happened to cause the collision and so I urge anyone who witnessed the crash or those who might have seen a white Audi car driving erratically through Preston to make contact with us.
“Similarly, I am asking anyone who may have seen people running or walking away from the area where the crash happened to get in touch.”
Anyone with information should contact Sgt 2942 James Power on 01772 209674 or call 101 quoting incident reference 1549 of July 7.