The mother of a teenager who died alongside his friend in an electric bike crash on a Cardiff street has said: ‘Police killed my son.’
Large-scale riots were sparked in the Welsh capital on Monday night after Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15, crashed the bike they were both riding in an Ely housing estate.
The unrest appeared to have been prompted by social media rumours saying the police had been following the pair as they cycled along a road.
South Wales Police initially said there had been no chase, but CCTV later emerged appearing to show a police van closely following two people on a bike minutes before the collision.
Alun Michael, the police and crime commissioner, conceded on Wednesday there is a ‘possibility’ the boys could have been being chased, after previously dismissing the suggestion as ‘false’.
The force maintains that the van in question was half a mile away at the time of the fatal crash, and was not directly involved with the incident.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph at a vigil last night, Kyrees’s mother Belinda said: ‘The police killed my son. I’ve got nothing else to say.’
A relative of Harvey told The Times last night: ‘If they see someone on a Sur-Ron [an e-bike brand], they think they are a drug dealer.
‘The police told Harvey’s family that there were no police vehicles in the area, they didn’t get chased and there was no sighting of them. But there it is, it’s all in the videos.’
Speaking to the same newspaper, a witness who had to jump out the way of the bike and the van as they travelled ‘at speed’ said: ‘You could see the boys were panicking and trying to get away from them.’
The police vehicle reportedly had to turn off a road after the pair cycled through a set of bollards.
Police were called to the scene of the crash at around 6pm on Monday evening, and the first responders on the scene were officers from the van which had been filmed driving close behind the bike a few minutes earlier.
The riots began as news of the deaths spread around the community, with several vehicles set alight, property damaged, and officers being injured.
Scenes livestreamed on YouTube showed young people throwing fireworks and other missiles at a line of police officers with riot shields, who were blocking one end of the street.
In a statement released yesterday, Kyrees’s family said: ‘He was loved so much by his grandparents and aunties and uncles and his many cousins.
‘Him and Harvey along with Niall were best friends since they were young and went everywhere together, they both had so many friends and were very well liked doing many things together, having fun and laughs.
‘They were loved by not only their families but by their community as well. Belinda, Craig and families, would like to thank everyone for all their kind words, flowers, and messages since they lost their son.’
Fatal Ely crash: Timeline of events
South Wales Police has issued the following timeline of events leading to the crash in Ely, Cardiff that killed Harvey Evans and Kyrees Sullivan.
- 17:59.40: CCTV shows the bike travelling towards the police vehicle in Frank Road. The bike then turns around.
- 18:00.52: The bike is followed by the police vehicle. Blue lights or sirens were not illuminated.
- 18:01.18: Police vehicle is at New Ely Church roundabout and travels through Archer Road, Stanway Road and Howell Road.
- 18:02.31: Police vehicle turns onto Grand Avenue.
- 18:02.17 – 18:02.41: Approximate time of the road traffic collision in Snowden Road. At the time of the collision, the police van is in Grand Avenue, half a mile away from Snowden Road.
- 18:06.59: The police vehicle is on Cowbridge Road West when it receives information about a road traffic collision, illuminates blue lights and makes its way to the collision scene.
A statement from Harvey’s family said: ‘He lived life to the full, he had a big heart and deep down he truly cared.
‘He was a best friend to Kyrees, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family also.’
Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Bacon said yesterday: ‘Our thoughts are with the families and friends of Kyrees and Harvey and everyone affected by this terrible incident. We can only begin to imagine the grief they are experiencing at this time.
‘The families continue to be supported and updated by family liaison officers.’
She added: ‘I am aware of concerns in the local community regarding the timeline of events which culminated in the fatal collision, including CCTV footage which shows a police vehicle following a bike in Frank Road.’
Yesterday, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it will probe ‘any interaction’ between officers and the two teenagers before they were killed.
Dep Ch Con Bacon said no officers had been interviewed under caution or suspended over the deaths.
She added that the force was continuing to appeal for witnesses and people who may have mobile phone footage or other useful information about the crash and the ‘appalling scenes’ that followed.
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