"WE will establish the facts," investigators have promised as an independent probe into last week's fatal crash in Kingswinford got underway.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct has begun an independent investigation into the level of involvement of West Midlands Police ahead of last Tuesday's horrific crash which killed four young people, it has now been confirmed.

Driver Joshua Parkes, aged 21, was confirmed dead at the scene along with passengers Lucy Tibbetts and Isabelle Floyd, both aged 16, after a Skoda Fabia they were travelling in hit a tree in Bromley Lane at around 8.50pm on October 13.

A fourth occupant, 18-year-old Nathan Cartwright, died from his injuries in hospital at the weekend while a fifth passenger, a 16-year-old girl named on social media as Izzie Ramsell, was also critically injured and taken to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital where her condition has remained stable.

Shortly before the collision the Skoda had come to the attention of a marked police vehicle, and following a referral from the force the IOPC has launched an investigation into the nature and extent of police involvement before the crash.

IOPC regional director for the West Midlands, Derrick Campbell, said: “Our sympathies are with the families and everyone else affected by this tragic incident.

“It is our role to provide the independent scrutiny which is necessary in these circumstances and we will establish the facts. In the meantime, we acknowledge concerns in the community but would stress that speculation is not helpful to anyone.

“The evidence we have gathered so far indicates there was no direct contact between the police vehicle and the Skoda, but our inquiries will look at whether there was any other form of interaction between them prior to the collision.

“We have made contact with the families of those involved to explain our role and we will keep them regularly updated as our investigation progresses.”

IOPC investigators attended the scene and post incident police procedure that evening to begin an assessment after being notified by the force.

In-car data from the police vehicle and CCTV footage have also been gathered for review.

Meanwhile, the crash is being investigated separately by force traffic collision investigators.