Investigation continues into tragic road accident

AN INVESTIGATION is underway to establish the circumstances that led to the death of a medical student on a road in Hampstead.

Mingwei Tan, 20, from Singapore, was found in Haverstock Hill near Belsize Park tube station in the early hours of September 30. Police believe she was involved in a collision in Pond Street before her body was dragged almost a mile to the point where it was found.

A 50-year-old bus driver was arrested on Friday and after questioning was bailed to return to a police station later this year. Bus company Metronet confirmed it is co-operating with police to establish what happened and said their employee, an N5 night bus driver, has been suspended as a matter of routine procedure while the investigation takes place.

A spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with the family at this time. We will continue to do everything we possibly can to assist and co-operate with the police and establish the exact circumstances of the incident.”

The Ham&High understands police are studying CCTV footage from the area to piece together events leading up to the moment when the student was involved in a collision.

An inquest into Miss Tan’s death was opened at St Pancras Coroner’s Court on Monday and immediately adjourned. The court heard she was born on November 21, 1989 and that she was a medical student at Peterhouse College at Cambridge University, where she was president of the karate club.

Acting Sergeant Richard Easton, from the Met’s Road Death Investigation Unit, told the court: “On the morning of September 30 at 1.50am we received reports of a body found in Haverstock Hill just south of Belsize Park tube station. That body was identified as Miss Tan.

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“It is believed the collision occurred in Pond Street close to the junction with Fleet Road. The circumstances are such that her body was dragged up Pond Street and left in Haverstock Hill where it was found.”

Acting Sgt Easton gave no further comments except to say that investigations into the circumstances of the incident were ongoing and that a post mortem had been carried out on Friday.

Dr Philip Pattenden, senior tutor at Peterhouse College, said: “The death of Mingwei Tan, who was due to start her third year at the college, is reported with much regret.

“She was doing very well in medical sciences and was a popular member of our community, always full of joy. She will be truly missed. The college is greatly saddened by its loss and extends its sympathy to the family.”

Traders and residents in South End Green and across Camden expressed their shock and sadness at the death and that grief was demonstrated with floral tributes to her in the area.

Chandrakant Parmar said: “Nothing like this has happened here before. People are shocked – they are saddened. It was terrible what happened.”

A statement on the website of Cambridge University Karate Club said: “Mingwei was a warm and passionate member of the club, squad and committee. Hard working, talented and enthusiastic, she was always a privilege to train with.

“As president, she continuously inspired others with her strong leadership and her optimism.

“She gave us many great memories and will be sorely missed, not just as a president and training partner, but as a friend.”

Anyone with information about the incident should contact the Met on 0300-123 1212.