Violet Grace Youens, 4, died in hospital after she was struck by a car on Friday (25 March). Merseyside Police

Police investigating the death of a four-year-old girl struck by a car in an alleged hit-and-run incident say one of the suspects left the country within hours of the collision.

Violet Grace Youens died on Saturday (25 March) a day after a black Ford Fiesta, believed to have been stolen, mounted the pavement in St Helens, Merseyside.

Youens' 55-year-old grandmother, Angela French, was also hit by the vehicle on Prescot Road, St Helens, on Friday afternoon, and she remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

Merseyside Police have arrested two men following the crash. A 27-year-old man from St Helens has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

A 23-year-old man, from Prescot, was also arrested on suspicion of being carried in a stolen vehicle. He has been released pending further enquiries.

Officers are also tracking another man wearing blue seen running from the crash who they believe "fled the country within hours" of the hit and run.

St Helens Police Chief Inspector Chris Sephton told the Liverpool Echo: "A 23-year-old man has fled the country. He left approximately three hours after the incident.

"That gives you the measure of the type of man he is.

"A girl critically ill in hospital at the time, a nan still critically ill in hospital, the devastation at the scene and a family trying to come to terms with what has happened and this individual flees the country.

"That tells you all that you need to know."

Youens death suspects
Merseyside Police have issued CCTV images of two suspects they would like to speak to about the incident. Merseyside Police

The man was said to be around 5ft 10in tall, of slim build, with brown hair. He was wearing a royal blue t-shirt and royal blue shorts.

Inspector Sephton continued: "We have been in contact with the authorities of the country where we believe he is. We are not releasing that information at the present time.

"We are doing everything we can to try and identify where he is now and get him back over here."

Youens' pancreas and both kidneys were donated following her death.

In a brief statement the family said that they were "devastated by the loss of their beautiful daughter but they wanted the organ donations to benefit other children and give them a chance to lead long and happy lives".

If you have any information about the incident please contact police on 0151 777 6041 or the Crimestoppers line, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.