A woman has suffered a life-threatening head injury after being hit by a marked police van in Bideford.
Police said at about 7.17pm last night a serious road traffic collision took place involving a marked police van and the 28-year-old woman pedestrian in New Road, Bideford, near Longbridge Wharf.
At first the injured woman was taken to North Devon District Hospital by ambulance but she was later airlifted to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. The driver of the police vehicle, a serving officer, was uninjured. He has been suspended from driving pending the outcome of a police investigation.
A witness driving past the scene last night said they saw someone lying on the floor covered in blankets who appeared to be bleeding.
Another eyewitness said a block of flats along New Road had been taped off by police and the road was closed for at least a couple of hours.
A spokesperson for South Western Ambulance Service said a first response vehicle, an ambulance and a doctor attended the scene.
In a statement this morning Devon and Cornwall Police said: "The police van was on routine patrol and travelling in the direction of Torrington when the woman crossed in front of the van."
Chief Inspector Toby Davies said: “Our thoughts are with the injured woman and her family. Obviously we wish her the best and hope she gets better.”
He also said the driver, who was suspended as a matter of routine, was “understandably upset” about the incident.
It is the second incident to result in a policeman being suspended from driving this year.
Last night's incident was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
The IPCC this afternoon confirmed it had looked at and assessed the details of the incident and had passed it back to Devon and Cornwall Police to deal with.
Officers from the serious collisions investigation unit would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident to contact them on 101 and quote log 738 of 6 March 2013.