TWO men who died in an horrific car crash at Boothstown were brothers, it has been revealed.
Scott Best, also known as Crooks, died in an Audi car, which he, along with his brother, Robert Crooks, both from Little Hulton, had stolen just minutes earlier from a house in Farnworth.
It has also emerged that Best had been jailed in 2009 for threatening a hospital worker with a knife.
The car crashed as it was being driven at 100mph along Leigh Road in Boothstown, and exploded in a ball of flames.
Mr Best should have been celebrating his 28th birthday yesterday, but instead his family were being informed he had died in the crash.
He and Mr Crooks, aged 33, were so badly burned they could not be recognised and had to be identified by DNA.
Minutes before the crash, at 8.32pm last Thursday, the brothers got out of a Vauxhall Vectra at Boscombe Gardens in Farnworth and smashed a window of a house and stole keys to the vehicle.
They threatened to shoot a neighbour, who was putting a bin out. The Audi and the Vauxhall Vectra were then driven off at speed.
The Vectra was abandoned in Worsley and a 28-year-old man from Bolton, who it is understood was in the Vectra, has been arrested on suspicion of burglary and theft of a motor vehicle and remains in police custody for questioning.
Witnesses to the crash told how they feared for their lives after the Audi exploded and debris flew through the air.
Several other cars were destroyed or damaged in the crash. Homes also suffered damage.
In November, 2009 , the Journal's sister publication The Bolton News reported that Mr Best was jailed for six-and-a-half years for a number of armed robberies.
He threatened a member of staff at the Royal Bolton Hospital’s car park with a knife. The terrified victim gave Mr Best her bag before he fled with an accomplice in a stolen car.
More than 2,000 attack alarms were given to hospital staff following the robbery.
Mr Best also burgled a jewellery shop in Blackpool by drilling a hole in the window and using a hook and cane to fish £1,500 worth of gold bracelets from the shop’s display.
On another day he went into another jewellery shop in Blackpool, posing as a customer, before picking up a £2,500 gold bracelet and walking out without paying.
The family did not want to pay tribute to the brothers.
Senior Investigating Officer, Sgt Lee Westhead, said: "An investigation is now under way to determine the cause of the collision and the events leading up to it."
Anyone with information or who witnessed the collision should contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 0161 856 4741.