A man was killed on a pedestrian crossing and a young woman left fighting for her life when a speeding ‘drunk’ driver mounted a central reservation.
The Mercedes flipped on to its roof during the high speed horror smash in foggy north west London late on Saturday night, according to shocked eye-witnesses.
Passers-by ran to the upturned vehicle to try and turn off the ignition as fuel poured on to the road at the busy junction in Willesden Green for at least 20 minutes.
Others freed the driver and a passenger from the upturned car.
But police say the passenger fled the scene at around 11.30pm and has not been traced.
The 33-year-old driver was taken to hospital before being arresting on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and drink driving. He remains in custody.
Witnesses described how the car ploughed into a set of traffic lights at the pedestrian crossing after trying to turn left from the far lane.
But the crazed swerve left a man in his thirties dead and a woman in her twenties is currently fighting for her life in hospital.
The pedestrian crossing in Willesden Green, north London, remained cordoned off by police tape today.
One local resident, who didn’t wish to be named, described how he tried to feel for the fatally injured man’s pulse, but couldn’t see any signs of life.
He said: “I heard a loud bang and I went outside.
“When I came out there were crowds of people.
“The grey Mercedes was completely flipped upside down and had crashed into the traffic lights on the central reservation.
“Both doors were open and I couldn’t see anyone inside.
“Fuel was leaking from the car and the ignition was on so me and several others tried to turn it off, the engine was on but I was shouting for help, because I thought the whole thing could go off like a bomb.
“I saw a young man. He looked like he was Middle-Eastern in appearance, lying on the floor on the pavement on the other side of the road.
“He had a bit of blood on his face and was wearing black leather trousers.
“I checked for his pulse, but it was either very weak or just not there.
“He must have been moved to the pavement.
“Another person was being treated on the island, but I couldn’t see if it was a man or a woman.
“I spoke to two Jamaican men and they said the driver had come from Walm Lane and had tried to turn left up Willesden Lane, but was in the wrong far-side lane.
“He must have missed it and instead of ploughing into oncoming traffic, he just went straight into the island.
“I don’t know whether the pedestrians were on the island at the time.
“I was there for around 20 minutes and nobody was able to get the ignition turned off, the car had obviously stalled.
“Police and paramedics showed up shortly afterwards and I went inside.”
Andrea Morello, 29, a chef who lives nearby, said: “I came home around five minutes past midnight, so it had already happened.
“They had closed off the area and I saw an ambulance, two fire engines and five or six police cars.”
A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: “We attended a car collision with street furniture.
“Two people had already been pulled out of the car by members of the public when we arrived.
“A man was pronounced dead at the scene and a woman was taken to hospital.”
Shocked eye witness Riesse Hamilton, whose flat overlooks the scene of the horror smash in Willesden, north west London, said the sickening crash sounded “like a bomb going off.”
Mr Hamilton, 21, said: “I was with my partner and we were watching a film in bed when I heard this bang.
“It sounded like a bomb going off.
“I looked out of my window and just saw this car upside down on its roof.
“It had mounted the pedestrian crossing and the front was all messed up.”
The student added: “We ran outside and there was a man lying near the back of the car who looked like he was dead.
“There weren’t any signs of life and someone was trying to help him.
“He wasn’t under the car or attached to it, but I wondered if he had been dragged.
“There was a woman lying near the front of the car.
“My partner tried to give her First Aid, but then got a bit overwhelmed by the whole situation.
“Both the man and woman were lying on the island, but I don’t know whether they were hit there.
“I didn’t see anyone in the car.
“There were crowds of people then the whole area got cordoned off.”
One witness, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “I heard brakes screeching and horns beeping just before it happened.
“Then I saw a car hit a man and it sent him flying through the air until he landed on the pavement.
“I couldn’t distinguish whether he was on the road or the crossing when he was hit.
“The car crashed into the island and ended up upside down, lying there smoking.
“Two people were dragged out of the car by people who came to help.
“They were both white and I think the woman was a brunette.
“I called an ambulance. I don’t know what happened to the people in the car, but neither looked well enough to run away.
“There is no way they could have run off after being dragged from that car.”
A 33-year-old man was taken to hospital for treatment for minor injures before being arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and drink driving, and is currently in police custody.
* A motorcyclist in his thirties is fighting for his life after colliding with railings in Romney Road, Greenwich, south east London, in foggy conditions in the early hours of this morning (SUN).
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