TWO elderly women who were involved in a crash with a police car are thought to have died from blunt force trauma to the chest, a coroner has revealed.

Pamela Valley had just left Calcot Park Golf Course with her doctor Gwyneth De Camps on January 23 when the Nissan Micra collided with a dog unit, which was responding to an incident in Reading.

Mrs Valley, 87, is thought to have been driving the car and she died at the scene on Bath Road, while her friend was rushed to Royal Berkshire Hospital before her death was confirmed.

The inquests into the death of Mrs Valley, of Crown Lane, Slough, and Mrs De Camps, 88, of Farm Lane, Slough, were formally opened at Reading Town Hall on Monday.

Peter Bedford, senior coroner for Berkshire, said: "Although investigations are ongoing, both ladies are believed to have died from blunt force trauma to the chest.

"Mrs Valley died on the A4 Bath Road, while her doctor died on the same date, but at Royal Berkshire Hospital.

"The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) have responsibility for the investigation because the crash involves a police officer."

The crash is thought to have happened shortly before 4pm, when the unmarked 4x4 police vehicle was responding to an incident.

Mr Bedford proposed to set a date for preliminary hearing before the full inquest takes place, with a date yet to be confirmed.

A spokesman for the IOPC added: "Although it was unmarked it did have the blue lights on at the time. We are in the process of downloading the on-board data box and that will give us more information about whether or not the sirens were on.

"Our investigators were at the scene last night. We are in the process of collecting CCTV footage of the collision. We are also trying to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the incident.

"This is a busy road and we are hoping local residents will have seen something to assist our investigation. The current understanding is that the members of the public were pulling onto the A4 from Calcot Park Golf Course.

"We are unable to identify the officer at this time, but it was a single officer in the car. We have no details of any injuries at this time."