Tributes to young footballer killed in crash after police pursuit


Tributes have been paid to a teenager who trained with Crystal Palace after his death in a scooter crash following a police chase.

Lewis Johnson, from Islington, died at the scene of the collision between the white Vespa scooter and a van in Clapton Common, Hackney, north-east London, just before midday on Tuesday.

The 18 year old was described as a "brilliant footballer" by London-based football academy Unique FA.

The academy posted a video tribute to him online, and tweeted: "Rest in peace Lewis. Heartbroken. Unbelievable talent. We will all miss you mate.

"Lewis Johnson - This kid had the lot. Brilliant footballer. RIP Lew x"

The headmaster at St Aloysius College, reported to be Mr Johnson's former school, told the Islington Gazette he was a "very nice young fellow".

Thomas Mannion said: "I remember he was a good footballer who was on Crystal Palace's books. He would often go off to train with them after school.

"He was a very nice young fellow. We are devastated as a school, especially his year group who are in the upper sixth in year 13 now."

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an investigation into Mr Johnson's death, after the Met confirmed officers had "pursued" the scooter when it failed to stop for police.

The force had received a number of calls about reported thefts involving suspects on a scooter, the IPCC said.

A 19-year-old man who was also travelling on the scooter was taken to hospital with serious but non life-threatening injuries.

There is no body-camera footage available, the IPCC said, but the watchdog said it has carried out a CCTV trawl, made a witness appeal and left leaflets at the scene.

IPCC commissioner Jennifer Izekor, who is overseeing the investigation, said: "This was a serious incident which has resulted in the tragic loss of a young life and our thoughts are with Lewis's family and friends.

"We will carry out a thorough, robust investigation which will examine what happened in the moments leading up to this collision and the actions of the police."

A post-mortem examination will take place "in due course", the IPCC said.