A pedestrian who was hit and killed by a police car on Christmas Day was walking home from the pub and carrying gifts, say people who knew him.
Local residents named the man as "lovely" and "generous" Tony Carroll and said he was on his way home after having a drink at the Throstles Nest pub in Liverpool.
CCTV shows Mr Carroll crossing the road and carrying a red gift bag when he was hit by a Merseyside Police vehicle that a watchdog says was responding to an emergency call at the time.
It’s not yet known what kind of call officers were responding to when the man was fatally struck.
An eyewitness said the pedestrian was crossing the road, and others said the police car’s blue lights were flashing at the time, the Liverpool Echo reported.
CCTV footage of the incident, seen by the Echo, shows Mr Carroll in a suit jacket carrying what appears to be a shiny red gift bag.
The collision happened on Scotland Road in Liverpool just before 7pm on Tuesday evening. He died a short time later despite efforts to save him.
In the video, Mr Carroll successfully crosses the city centre-bound carriageway, but as he steps into the road, from a set of traffic lights in the central reservation, he is struck by the patrol car and thrown off camera.
It was not clear from the footage whether the lights were on green or red.
Eyewitnesses described seeing a clearly distressed police officer sitting in the middle of the road in the aftermath of the crash, holding his head in his hands.
Mr Carroll was described as a "lovely" and "generous" man who had a habit of sharing cookies and cakes with staff in a local shop.
Wez, the owner of Scotland Road Newsagents, said: "He was a person who came in here every day. He would give my staff cookies every morning."
Alex, who also works at the shop, said: "I could not say a bad word about him. He was just so friendly.
"It was so shocking when people said it was him. I just kept thinking he was going to walk through the door."
Alex said Mr Carroll would give her and her colleagues cookies or Marks & Spencer cake when he popped in.
She said: "He was always in a suit, he was always pleasant and would always have a chat about anything.
"Even when he was working nights he was the same.
"I only saw him on Christmas Eve, he waved to me and said ‘all the best’."
Other residents said Mr Carroll had a job with the railways.
One woman said: "This whole community is really devastated."
Police are yet to confirm the name of the man who died, but said his next of kin have now been informed.
The UK’s police watchdog has launched an investigation into the incident as tributes are paid to the pedestrian, the Echo has reported.
After the incident, Merseyside Police referred itself to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC), a reformed police watchdog whose mandate is to probe the most serious and sensitive incidents and allegations involving the police.
The IOPC said the police car was responding to an emergency call at the time of the Christmas Day collision.
It said in a statement on Tuesday night: "Merseyside Police has referred to us a fatal collision involving a police car and a pedestrian on Scotland Road in Liverpool this evening.
"We have sent investigators to the scene and to the police post incident procedure.
"Following a brief assessment, we have decided to carry out an independent investigation.
"On current information, we understand the police car was responding to an emergency call when it collided with the man crossing the road at around 6.50pm."
An eyewitness, who was driving towards the city centre, said the man was hit as he crossed the road near the Wallasey Tunnel.
The man, who did not want to be named, said: "I was driving back towards the tunnels and was near McDonald’s when I saw a police car hit a pedestrian who was crossing the road.
“I stopped my car and ran over to see if they were OK.
“Two police officers were trying to help the man.
"I offered them a bottle of water in case they needed it but I didn’t want to get in their way.”
A number of eyewitnesses said the police car’s blue lights were flashing at the time of the collision and two officers attempted to give emergency first aid to the man.
A spokesperson for Merseyside Police said earlier: "We can confirm an investigation is currently underway following a fatal road traffic collision in Liverpool this evening, Tuesday, 25th December.
"At around 6.50pm, a collision occurred between a police vehicle and a male pedestrian on Scotland Road.
"Emergency services attended and the pedestrian was taken to hospital where he was sadly pronounced dead.
"The incident has been referred to the IOPC."
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