A taxi driver who died after being hit by a car during a police pursuit was helping an elderly couple into his vehicle when he was struck, it has emerged.
Allen Ingram, 64, had just picked up the fare on St Lawrence Road in Denton, Tameside, at lunchtime on Tuesday.
He was getting back into the driver’s seat when he was struck by a Vauxhall Mokka.
The vehicle was being chased by unmarked police cars. It had already hit a number of cars parked on the suburban street.
Mr Ingram, a grandad and father-of-three who lived with one of his daughters in Gorton, suffered serious injuries.
Horrified neighbours watched as officers leapt from their cars and gave Mr Ingram CPR before paramedics arrived.
An air ambulance landed in the field behind St Lawrence Road at around 12.45pm, but Mr Ingram was declared dead at the scene.
The elderly couple in Mr Ingram’s cab were said to have been distraught.
One witness said an officer who tried to save Mr Ingram was so upset he had his head in his hands.
Amanat Ali, his boss at nearby Call-A-Cab less than a mile away on Hyde Road, said his colleagues have been left utterly devastated by the ‘one in a million’ incident.
“It could have happened to anyone,” he said.
“The drivers are very upset.
“They go out to help people - especially the elderly. They know they’ll get that personal touch.
“Normally taxi drivers pull up and stay in their car. But Allen got out to help his fare in.
“It’s so unfair - you think you’re going to do any honest day’s graft... and that happens.”
Last night, members of the public, including Mr Ingram’s fellow taxi drivers visited the scene to pay their respects and lay flowers.
“What is there to say about Allen?” said Mr Ali.
“I’ve known him for ten years. I’ve never seen Allen without a smile on his face, never seen him angry or upset.
“It’s a great loss and a tragic loss.
“I last saw him just last Tuesday - he offered to buy me a drink. We were having a joke and I was saying you owe me a drink and he said ‘no problem’.
“He’s gone out to do a day’s job helping someone. I can’t put it into words - it’s just such a loss to his family and to everyone.
“He was very much loved and respected.”
Police are continuing their hunt for the driver of the Vauxhall Mokka, who fled the scene of the crash.
A 37-year-old woman and a 39-year-old man who were arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving have since been released without charge.
Greater Manchester Police has automatically referred itself to the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), over the fatal collision. An investigation has been launched.
GMP said officers were on patrol in Denton when they attempted to stop the white Vauxhall Mokka after suspicions were raised.
The car failed to stop for officers and during a short pursuit the car collided with several other cars before hitting Mr Ingram and his taxi.
The white Mokka ended up in the front garden of a house on St Lawrence Road before the driver got out and fled.
The street was sealed off in both directions after the crash and remained closed into the evening.
Chief Superintendent Neil Evans, said: “This is an absolutely devastating day for all involved, this completely innocent man has lost his life after getting caught up in this incident.
“The man’s family have now been made aware, my heart breaks at the thought of what they must be going through.
“I would also like to hear from any witnesses to the incident, or anyone who may be able to help our investigation.”
Officers are still searching for this man and appealing for anyone who knows his whereabouts to get in touch as soon as possible on 0161 856 9289, or anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
To donate to a Just Giving page set up to help Allen's family, click here.