A POLICE car chase through the streets of New Cross on Sunday night left a 13-year-old girl dead.

The teenager was travelling with her family in a Volkswagen Polo when the driver of a Peugeot 308 being chased by police hit them at a set of traffic lights in Ilderton Road just before 6.30pm.

The girl - who was in the back of the vehicle - died of her injuries at the scene at the junction with Surrey Canal Road.

Her mother, father and four-year-old brother were all taken to hospital - although their injuries are not thought to be serious.

The Peugeot driver, who was being chased by a marked police car with lights and siren on, has been arrested. His female passenger was also taken to hospital with minor injuries.

The incident left debris and glass on the road with traffic lights "bent to 45 degrees" and lampposts on both sides of the road needing to be replaced.

Ilderton Road resident Huseyin Bayir returned home from a night out to find his road blocked off with police cars at around 10pm.

The Owner of Fish Republic - a takeaway around 100m from the scene of the crash - said: "It is very sad. I am shocked.

"It was closed. When I looked up I saw a car had crashed into the road. "There wasn’t even damage to the headlights - I didn’t see why the police were taking it so seriously.

"I knew it was more than an accident because if it was an accident they would have let me in.

"It is very sad news. The first time I hear of somebody dying here."

The 42-year-old went on to say he thought a lack of clear road markings had resulted in a number of accidents at the junction.

Burhan Salih is the owner of Burhan Motors, opposite the crash site. Speaking about the police response he said: "They (the police) have to do it but sometimes they over do it.

"It is upsetting. Nobody wants to see someone die."

Southwark Council worker Paul Foster helped replace two of the lampposts destroyed in the crash.

He said: "When I got there last night there were just people sweeping up the glass and debris. All the road was shut.

"This lamppost was all damaged and on the other side the traffic lights were bent 45 degrees."

Commander Tony Eastaugh said: "An innocent family are now dealing with the tragic loss of a loved one.

"The Metropolitan Police has begun a thorough investigation into the circumstances of this terrible incident.

"The thoughts of our staff and officers are with the family at this time."

The pursuit was initiated in Queens Road, Peckham after the Peugeot triggered a positive hit on the ANPR system of a police vehicle.

Officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards and Traffic officers are now investigating and an Independent Police Complaints Commission investigator attended the scene to assess the circumstances.

A post mortem has been scheduled for 9am on 8 January at St Thomas' Mortuary. The victim is yet to be formally identified.

The Road Death Investigation Unit are requesting any witnesses to the pursuit or collision to contact their witness line on 0208 285 1574.