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Police probe horror crash.

Summary: A retired church minister was driving "faster than a boy racer" when he killed himself and four others in a crash, witnesses said.

A retired church minister was driving "faster than a boy racer" when he killed himself and four others in a crash, witnesses said.

The Rev Dr Graham Mercer, 73, was driving his blue Renault Megane along a suburban Merseyside road when the car hit a wall before smashing into an oncoming Vauxhall Corsa with four people inside.

The collision on Sunday claimed the lives of six-year-old Olivia Wood, of Wrexham, her grandmother Linda Wood, 59, of Eastham, Merseyside, and her great-aunt Ann Hargreaves, 71, of Bromborough, Merseyside, who was driving the Corsa.

They were pronounced dead at the scene on Spital Road, Wirral, Merseyside, along with Dr Mercer.

Another passenger in the Corsa, Joan Roden-Jones, 64, of Wrexham, was taken from the crash scene to hospital where she also later died.

Eyewitness Liz Taylor, 57, said the car had been travelling "at great speed", adding: "It was faster than a boy racer and perhaps his foot was stuck on the accelerator".

A Merseyside Police spokesman said investigators were looking into the possibility that Dr Mercer suffered a heart attack or seizure at the wheel.

Though retired, Dr Mercer was described as still being very active in Wirral church life.

Rev Howard Sharp, moderator of the Mersey Synod of the United Reformed Church, said: "Graham was a lovely, caring man.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Graham's family and also with the families of all those people killed in this tragic accident."

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 9, 2009
Words:289
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