A MAN has appeared in court charged in connection with a serious crash involving five cars in which three people were seriously injured.

North Yorkshire Police have voluntarily referred the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct because the defendant's Shogun 4x4 was involved in a police pursuit at the time.

Twenty-year-old Billy Morrison, from Barnsley appeared at York Magistrates after the crash at Skipton on Swale, near Thirsk on Friday, September 18.

He was charged with two counts of causing serious injury by driving dangerously, one charge of dangerous driving and other charges of failing to stop for the police, driving whilst disqualified, no insurance, failing to provide a specimen of blood and driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs.

After the hearing, Morrison was remanded in custody to York Crown Court on October 26.

The crash happened near Skipton on Swale bridge at around 10am on Friday, September 18. A navy blue Shogun 4x4 with a 2003 numberplate had been followed by the police from the A1 onto the A61 at junction 50.

The Shogun collided with a vehicle in queuing traffic on the approach to the bridge outside Skipton on Swale, there was then a multiple collision with other vehicles and the Shogun overturned.

Four other vehicles were involved in the crash. These were a red Toyota Prius, a grey Renault Clio, a green Vauxhall Vivaro minibus and a silver Vauxhall Zafira, which were all damaged.

Three people also suffered serious injuries which required hospital treatment, including a 19-year-old man from Barnsley who was in the Shogun who fractured his pelvis. He was initially arrested by police but was later released without charge.

An 80-year-old woman from Ripon, a passenger in the Prius, broke an ankle and a 35-year-old woman from Harrogate, in the Vivaro, was treated for injuries to her eye. All were taken to hospital and released after treatment.

A stretch of the A61 was closed for over four hours until 2.15pm while the emergency services worked at the scene and so vehicles could be safely recovered. Local diversions were in place.

Police have renewed appeals for information following the crash and are calling on anyone who was was in the area before or after the incident to contact them.

A spokesperson said: “As is standard practice for collisions that have involved a police pursuit, the incident has been voluntarily referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

“Anyone with dash-cam footage that may have captured the vehicle are asked to get in touch as soon as possible. Contact 101, select option two, and ask for the Major Collision Investigation Team, email steven.james771@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk quote incident reference number 12200163880.”