An elderly woman has been killed after a stolen Mercedes smashed into her car just minutes after the driver refused to stop for police.
The 70-year-old Ford Fiesta driver died at the scene of the hit-and-run crash in Horsham, West Sussex, at around 2.30pm yesterday (Friday).
Her friend and passenger, also a 70-year-old woman, was taken to hospital with minor injuries following the crash, police said.
A manhunt has now been launched to find the driver involved in the fatal smash.
According to officers, the black Mercedes AMG estate - believed to have been stolen during a nearby house burglary - had been traced by Sussex Police at around 2.19pm.
It was seen leaving roadside services with a Mercedes A Class, with both vehicles failing to stop for police.
At 12.23pm, the Mercedes A Class - also believed to have been stolen - crashed into a hedge. Despite attempts to flee, the driver was arrested nearby.
Meanwhile, the black Mercedes continued to drive away. It was involved in the fatal collision with the Ford Fiesta just minutes later.
The Mercedes driver, thought to be male, was not being chased by police at the time of the crash, police said.
A police helicopter and canine unit failed to find the suspect, who escaped on foot. It is believed he later tried to flag a lift from near the scene of the collision.
Detective Inspector Will Rolls called the crash a “tragic incident involving two innocent members of the public”.
“We offer our heartfelt sympathies to their families and specially trained officers are providing support.
“Enquiries are ongoing to identify the driver who ran from the scene after crashing in to the Ford Fiesta.”
An 18-year-old man from Feltham has been arrested on suspicion of burglary.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has been notified about the incident.