UK & World News

  • 14 February 2014, 18:30

Two Cyclists Die After 'Police Chase' Crash

Two cyclists have died after they were hit by a car involved in a suspected police pursuit in a flood-hit village.

Officers were responding to a "fear-for-welfare" incident at around 9pm on Thursday in Purley on Thames, West Berkshire, when they spotted a black BMW convertible related to the call-out.

Thames Valley Police said the car was travelling on the A329 Purley Rise when it collided with the two cyclists, who both died at the scene.

A local resident, who did not want to be named, said he saw a big flash of light before spotting two bodies lying on the ground outside his house when he looked out.

"I've been told it was a police chase," he said.

"The car rolled over and ended up outside the house and someone was being cut out of it. I didn't do anything as the police were already here."

He added that the stretch of road was an "accident blackspot" with many crashes at the scene before.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said specialist officers were in the process of informing and supporting the cyclists' next of kin.

The driver of the BMW was injured and taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. A man was later arrested in connection with the incident.

The force has referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is standard practice when a death occurs during a police-related matter.

The road was closed while officers examined the scene, before re-opening this morning.

Purley on Thames is among the areas worst affected by the flooding in the Thames Valley, although long-serving local councillor Bill Aylingsaid the road in question is on a hill and would not have been flood-affected.

"I'm absolutely shocked," he said.

"I know the road very well. It is well lit at night and it's up on a hill, so I know it would not be flooded up there."

Anyone who witnessed the collision or saw the BMW beforehand is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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