Toddler Hit By Stolen Van
30 October 2018, 16:19 | Updated: 30 October 2018, 16:21
The boy, who has been described as "fighting for his life" by police, was hit by a stolen white Ford Transit Connect van which was being followed by officers after failing to stop on Wigan Road shortly after 10:35am on Tuesday.
Officers gave first aid to the boy before paramedics and the air ambulance arrived, and he was taken to hospital where he remains in a critical condition, a force spokesman said.
Inspector Danny Byrne, of the force's serious collision investigation unit, said: "This was a horrendous incident that has left a three-year-old boy in hospital fighting for his life, and we are doing all we can to support his family at this incredibly difficult time.
"Our investigation is continuing very quickly as we have deployed several resources - including the helicopter and police dogs - to support our efforts to trace those responsible.
"I am urging anyone that thinks they might have seen the van throughout the morning or have any information, no matter how small or insignificant it might seem, to please get in touch as soon as possible.
"Even the smallest piece of information could be the key to us finding those responsible so please call police."
The van, which fled the scene towards Twist Lane, has since been recovered nearby, the force added.
Wigan Road remains closed between Nel Pan Lane and Hill Crest Avenue while officers are at the scene.
The incident has also been referred to the force's professional standard's branch "in line with normal force policy", a spokesman added.