Bike thieves taunted police before smashing into van in Dalkeith

TEARAWAY teens tried to goad police into a chase before speeding off on a stolen motorbike and hitting a patrol van head-on, the Evening News can reveal.

The two 16-year-old boys were spotted weaving across both carriageways in Salters Road, Dalkeith, on the powerful bike moments before ploughing into the front of the Transit van.

Police officers and recovery vehicles attend a crash on Salter's Road in Dalkeith. Picture: Jon Savage

Police officers and recovery vehicles attend a crash on Salter's Road in Dalkeith. Picture: Jon Savage

They were taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after the smash at 4.20am yesterday but miraculously neither 
suffered life threatening injuries – despite not wearing helmets.

Nearby resident David Millar, 32, said: “They were lucky – especially not wearing any gear.”

The teen riders are understood to have taunted a police patrol car near the entrance to Dalkeith Country Park by revving the engine of the bike, which had foreign plates.

They then sped off with a car, possibly a Peugeot, in convoy, while police called in 
support to track the vehicles but avoided a pursuit over safety fears.

The police Transit involved in the smash was responding to the officers’ call when the stolen bike headed towards them on Salters Road.

One of the riders suffered serious ankle and head injuries while his companion sustained minor leg and pelvic injuries.

Two police officers in the Transit were also taken to hospital as a precaution with whiplash injuries.

Salters Road was sealed off by police who launched an investigation and later charged one of the teens.

“Police in Midlothian are continuing to investigate a road traffic collision on Salters Road in Dalkeith,” said a police spokeswoman. “The incident happened at around 4.20am on Wednesday, June 13 when a motorcycle was involved in a collision with a police vehicle.

“Two 16-year-old youths were taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary by the Scottish Ambulance Service. One sustained minor injuries and the other sustained serious, but non-life-threatening, injuries.

“A 16-year-old male since has been charged in connection with this and a report will be submitted.”

Salters Road was closed all morning but reopened by midday when a covering of sand to soak up oil on the road surface was the only sign of the crash. A number of drivers and the East Coast 140 service were diverted as a result of the closure.

Mr Millar said the 40mph road was “well policed” during the day but a different story at night.

“The police are often sat with speed traps up the road during the day so it’s fine, but in the evening there’s boy racers tearing past at easily double the speed limit,” he added.

“It’s mainly cars but you get bikes as well. There’s a couple of bends but there’s not been any other accidents 
recently.”

andy.shipley@edinburghnews.com