Woman describes 'screaming and crying' of passersby as five pedestrians hit in 'carnage'

A woman who saw the aftermath of a car crash in England in which five people were mown down described her shock at the "carnage", saying she feared they were all dead.

One man remains in a critical condition while another man and a woman are in a serious but stable condition in hospital after a Mercedes ploughed into them in Bellingham, south-east London on Sunday morning.

Police have arrested the driver on suspicion of drink-driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and confirmed the incident was not terror-related.

The crash happened outside a car wash opposite a row of shops on Bromley Road, with the Mercedes appearing to have come off the road and careered through a row of bollards before hitting a low wall at the end of a hedge.

The car's bonnet and boot were popped open by the impact, its airbags all deployed, while debris was strewn across the pavement.

Raee Towolawi, 26, was on her way to church with her mother, brother and sister from her nearby home at around 8.20am when they heard the sound of screaming.

She told the Press Association: "I just thought it was people messing around or fighting nearby at the car wash but my mum said no, they sound like different types of screams.

"I went up the road and saw all this carnage. There were two men lying flat on their backs, just lifeless or unconscious.

"There was a lady in between them who had been sat upright and all the car washers were around her trying to get her to respond.

"They were just crying and wailing over her, and she wasn't responding. They were saying her name to try and get her to wake up, and shaking her."

Ms Towolawi said she saw a man with blood coming from a head injury and another uninjured man, both car washers, chasing a well-dressed black man down the road.

She said: "They were swearing, saying 'Why have you done this?' I am assuming he was the one who did the damage."

Ms Towolawi said she believed those who were injured work and live at the car wash, and that they had been waiting outside for customers when they were hit.

She and her brother went to see if they could help, but could not understand the group as they spoke little English.

"They just kept saying something bad had happened and were slapping themselves and pulling their hair out. They just didn't know what to do and were screaming and crying," she said.

"I thought they were dead. I was just shocked and couldn't believe what I was seeing. There was a lot of blood as well.

"I didn't notice the car until I came back afterwards. I just thought they'd been stabbed or shot."

Police, paramedics and an air ambulance were all called to help.

Four men and a woman were treated at the scene before being taken to hospital, Scotland Yard said.

A 25-year-old man is in a critical condition, while another man the same age and a woman of 35 are in a serious but stable condition.

Two men, aged 36 and 46, also sustained minor injuries in the crash.

London Ambulance Service said the group were treated for head, chest and leg injuries.

A Met spokesman said: "The driver of the car was detained at the scene by an off-duty police officer before being arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

"He was also arrested on suspicion of drink-driving before being taken to a south London hospital with a head injury."

Roads around the area have been closed while investigators examine the scene.

Police are appealing for witnesses, and anyone who saw the incident is asked to call officers on 101 or 0208 285 1574.

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