A DRIVER had to be cut free after a police van on an emergency call careered into a car and destroyed a bus stop in Fulham Palace Road.
Firefighters battled for some time to rescue the driver, whose Ford Focus was smashed into at speed near Charing Cross Hospital. Miraculously, the driver suffered only minor injuries.
Police say the van was on its way to an emergency call at about 7.20am last Sunday (7) when the accident occurred. The bus stop was badly damaged in the incident and had yet to be fixed when a Chronicle photographer arrived on Monday.
Witnesses to the aftermath of the smash said the car had spilled onto the pavement between a lamppost and the bus stop, which had its glass shelter smashed by the force of the impact. The roof of the car was sawn off in the rescue effort.
Harriet Arkell tweeted: "Just walked past the wreckage on the way to church. (Bus stop) glass shattered, car very squashed and facing into Fulham Palace Road."
There was traffic chaos as the road was closed in both directions for several hours, which had a knock-on affect on the whole area, with buses having to divert.
The Met Police's Traffic Unit as well as the Independent Police Complaints Commission are investigating the incident. Police confirmed the van had its blue lights flashing and sirens on at the time of the crash.
A spokesman said: "At approximately 7.20am on Sunday, October 7, a police van responding to an emergency call was in a collision with a Ford Focus in Fulham Palace Road. The driver of the Ford Focus was taken to hospital by ambulance with minor injuries. No police officers were injured. A bus stop was by the road was damaged during the collision. The collision is being investigated by the Met's Traffic Unit.
"The IPCC has been informed as a matter of course."