Four people killed after car crashes into garden and catches fire in Worlington
- Credit: Archant
Four people including two aged in their 70s were killed in a crash involving two vehicles in west Suffolk on Friday night.
The collision took place on the B1102 Freckenham Road on the outskirts of Worlington, near Mildenhall, shortly before 8.15pm.
Police said that after the crash, one vehicle left the road, ended up in a front garden and caught fire.
A man aged 77 and a woman aged 75 from Ely, in Cambridgeshire, in a Hyundai I30, and two men aged 24 and 28, both from Mildenhall, in a BMW M3, were pronounced dead at the scene, a Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said.
Neighbours rushed out of their homes to try to put out the fire and save those inside, but the blaze was too strong.
Officers believe the BMW was travelling in the direction of Worlington and the Hyundai was travelling in the opposite direction when the collision took place.
Neighbours near the crash scene told how they heard a “loud bang” and rushed outside to discover one of the cars on fire in their front garden.
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One woman, who asked not to be named, said: “There was a horrendous noise and when we went outside the car was in the garden on fire. It was on fire and it kept exploding.
“One of our neighbours called the emergency services and they were here within minutes.
“We tried to douse the flames, but there was nothing we could do.”
A man, who also asked not to be named, said: “There were two cars involved. One of them was going really fast and they collided. One of the cars left the road and ended up in the garden.
“The car rolled over, it flipped over at least once and landed in the garden.
“The emergency services were here until 2am.”
Another said: “There was a red car with an elderly couple in it and a BMW which was coming the other way. The BMW somersaulted and landed in the garden.
“We went out with a hosepipe to try to put the flames out.”
A tearful group believed to be family and friends of the victims visited the crash scene to lay flowers. They hugged one another in emotional scenes as they surveyed the garden where the car had burst into flames.
They declined to speak to the press, and left after a few minutes.
A woman, who asked not to be named, said: “It is so, so sad. I can’t believe it.”
As a young man approached the scene in tears to lay flowers, she told him: “They wouldn’t have known anything.”
The crash left a hole the length of a car in the roadside hedge and a trail of debris of car parts, branches and twigs lasting for several metres could be seen in the garden which led to a large, charred black patch on the ground.
Broken glass remains strewn on the road and police tape can be seen on a hedge down the road near the crash scene.
This morning, Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, of Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing, said: “We’ve attended the scene to gather evidence and we would like to ask any witnesses or anyone with any information about the collision in Worlington to come forward in order to assist our investigation.
“Our aim is to provide support to the victims’ families affected by this tragic incident, and to provide information for the coroner.”
James Waters, Suffolk County Councillor for Worlington, said the “tragedy” has hit the community hard.
“It is a very tight knit community and everyone knows each other, it has been a real shock.
“My thoughts are with the families of those four people. I have never heard of an accident with such a horrific loss.
“Everyone has been hit hard by this tragedy.”
The cause of the collision is unknown and is currently under investigation, a police spokesman said.
Police, firefighters, paramedics, the East Anglian Air Ambulance and volunteers from the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) were all called to the incident.
Speaking at the scene on Friday night, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service area commander Ian Bowell said: “Sadly four people have lost their lives, and our thoughts are with those families and their friends.
“The (fire) crews extinguished the fire, but sadly the ambulance service confirmed that all four people – two people in each car – were confirmed dead at the scene.
“The early indications are the cars were travelling in opposite directions and had a collision, which will be identified as part of the investigation.
“The first people here, the paramedics and the police, and also passers-by and people who live nearby did everything they possibly could, and risked their lives to try and save these people, but tragically those lives were already lost.”
The road was closed while police carried out a serious collision investigation. It reopened at 3.30am on Saturday.
A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman added: “Police would like to hear from witnesses who may have seen the collision or the manner of driving of either of the two cars beforehand.”
A SARS volunteer critical care team, who first arrived at the scene in under four minutes, assessed four people “but unfortunately no signs of life were found”, a SARS spokesman said.
He said: “It was a horrific scene and our thoughts go out to all the friends and families of the deceased.”
The collision means that 23 people have now died on Suffolk’s roads this year. Last year, 30 people were killed on the county’s roads.
Police said other roads near the scene of collision were also closed for investigation.
Officers are tracing the families of those involved.
An East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Two ambulances, a rapid response vehicle, an ambulance officer and the East Anglian Air Ambulance attended.
“A critical care team from Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) was first on scene in under four minutes.
“Unfortunately four patients sadly died at the scene.”
People with any information about the incident are urged to call the Suffolk Serious Collision Investigation team on 101 quoting CAD 415 of July 17.