Two people killed in crash on Lower Hanham Road, Hanham
TWO cyclists were left dying in the street after a horrific accident in a normally peaceful suburb on the east of Bristol.
A search was launched for the suspected driver of the car but he handed himself in to police several hours later and was under arrest last night.
The driver abandoned the car minutes after the incident which took place shortly before 4pm on Lower Hanham Road.
Officers were quizzing the 38-year-old suspect last night at a Bristol police station but were still appealing for anyone who saw the fatal crash to contact them.
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A statement from Avon and Somerset police said: "At around 4pm today, a vehicle collided with two cyclists on Lower Hanham Road. The man and a woman died at the scene as a result of their injuries.
"The road currently remains closed and investigations continue. A 38-year-old man who left the scene of the collision has handed himself in at a police station and has been arrested."
The scores of police officers and scenes of crimes investigators who descended on the South Gloucestershire village had to cope with atrocious weather conditions as they went about their work.
Few details were released by the police but the victims of the tragedy are thought to have been a couple who lived in the area.
Both the man and the women died at the scene from their injuries after being hit by a Citroen car. By the time paramedics arrived there was nothing they could do to save the couple.
According to several local residents the police helicopter was seen hovering above the village shortly before the accident.
There were also unconfirmed reports that several other cars were hit by the Citroen, and were being towed away by investigators for further tests.
The road remained closed off throughout the night and motorists were being diverted down the nearby Woodleaze Drive.
A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset police said: "Police were called to a single-vehicle road traffic collision on Lower Hanham Road at about 3.50pm in the afternoon.
"The car was in collision with two cyclists. The driver left the car and fled the scene of the incident. A man and a woman both died as a result of injuries sustained.
"Collision investigators are currently at the scene. We would appeal to anyone who witnessed this collision to contact us on 101."
Paramedics were among the first to arrive at the scene but could do nothing to save the couple.
A spokesperson for the ambulance service said: "We took the call at 4pm reporting that a car had hit two cyclists, a male and a female. We sent an ambulance, paramedics, a rapid response vehicle and had an officer at the scene to liaise with the other services.
"But unfortunately both the patients were beyond help at the scene."
The landlord of the nearby Queens Head pub Patrick Murphy, aged 56, said: "The first thing I heard was the helicopter flying overhead and then the police turned up.
"I have been here seven years and we have never had anything like this although it is a very busy road.
"Everyone is really shocked by what has happened."
Margaret Leonard, 62, who lives on lower Hanham Road, said: "There have been several accidents over the years but nothing like this.
"This is a terrible tragedy and it has shocked the whole village. We have been told that the police know who they are looking for."
Another resident, who would only give his name as James, said: "The first thing I knew about this was when the police arrived.
"It is a busy road and something should be done to slow people down. What has happened is terrible and everyone is in shock."