Two friends who died in fatal police chase crash named as loving dads

Police have named the two men who died in a car chase with officers as close friends Tommy Sharp and Paddy Connors.

Tributes have poured in for the pair, who were both married and had children, following the tragedy on Wednesday September 23.

Tommy, 27, was a dad-of-two, who lived with his wife Delilah and kids in Salford, Manchester.

He was nicknamed "mush" by loved ones and described as "the life of the party," as well as a "loving and caring dad, husband, brother and uncle", Manchester Evening News reports.

In a message to Tommy, Kathleen Berry, who is married to Tommy’s nephew, penned a heartwarming message to the family.

She said: “A legend, the one and only Tommy Sharp. You will never be forgotten.

"We would all give anything in the world to have you back. The baby of the family, rest in peace, our legend."

Paddy, who was in his 30s, leaves behind a wife and four children, and is understood to have lived in Wigan.

His cousin, Kathleen Connors told Manchester Evening News: "It's a very big loss for us all. He was a kind, loving, easy-going person. Everyone loved Paddy."

On Thursday, balloons were released in Paddy and Tommy’s memory at the scene of the tragedy and a vigil was held for the both men.

Police attended the vigil to ensure people were safe, and a number of roads were shut.

On Wednesday evening, an unmarked car pursued a vehicle being driven by one of the two men as it sped at speed in Frederick Road at around 11.40pm.

The car crashed with two other cars, police said, and the two men inside the car, now known to be Tommy and Paddy, died at the scene.

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The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) later confirmed three people unconnected to the chase – two women and a man – were in one of the vehicles which was hit.

An investigation has been launched into the pursuit, which is understood to have been brief.

Regional director Amanda Rowe said: "My thoughts are with the men’s family and friends after this tragic incident.

"When someone dies following police contact, it is mandatory for forces to make a referral to the IOPC."

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In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said: "At around 11.40pm on Wednesday, September 23, police observed a vehicle being driven at speed on Frederick Road, Salford.

"Officers initiated a pursuit and the vehicle in question collided with two third party vehicles.

"Two men from the vehicle in question were sadly pronounced dead a short time later.

"One man and two women from a third party vehicle were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

"No arrests have been made.

"In line with normal procedure, this incident has been referred to GMP's Professional Standards Branch and the IOPC."

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