A PASSENGER is in a serious condition after he was thrown from the back of a van. 

Police found the man on Northfield Road, close to the junction with King’s Highway, near Rising Bridge, in the early hours of Sunday.

The 25-year-old had suffered significant head injuries after being thrown from the back of a Ford Transit van.

He was taken to Royal Preston Hospital where he remains in a serious condition.

Officers are investigating the possibility a gas canister had exploded in the back of the vehicle. 

The van had earlier failed to stop for police in Accrington town centre and the incident has now been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Two people were arrested in connection with the incident today.

A 27-year-old man was held on suspicion of causing serious injury through dangerous driving, failing to stop and driving while unfit through drink or drugs.

And a 20-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drink or drugs, and failing to stop. 

Det Ch Insp Pauline Stables said: “We are in the early stages of our enquiries into this incident during which a man has sustained some very serious injuries. 

“I would appeal to anyone who has any information which could assist to contact us.”

Neighbours said they heard a‘loud bang’ as well as fighting on the street shortly before 12.40am.

One woman, who has lived on King’s Highway for more than 20 years, said: “I saw a police car and heard people running around behind our house.

“I heard a bang and thought someone was trying to get into the house.

“This is the third time the police have been called here in the last six months which is crazy because it’s supposed to be a safe and quiet place.”

Another neighbour said: “I was woken up by a loud bang and I thought it was inside the house. 

“I saw several police cars and an ambulance take someone away.”
Fire crews were called to the scene at around 2am to ensure the van was safe.

A fire service spokesman said: “Police told us they heard an explosion and had turned out to the van to see the doors had been blown open.”

Anyone with information can call police on 101.