Two Cyclists Killed During Police Incident In Flood-Hit Purley On Thames

Two cyclists have died after they were struck by a car following a police incident in a flood-hit village.

Officers were called to the A329 Purley Rise in Purley on Thames, West Berkshire at 9pm yesterday when the collision occurred.

A road sign near the scene in Purley on Thames

They were responding to a "fear-for-welfare" incident and became aware of a black BMW convertible related to the call-out.

Bill Ayling, a long-serving councillor on Purley on Thames Parish Council, said the road where the incident happened is on a hill and would not have been flood-affected.

He said: "I'm absolutely shocked. 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."

A local resident said he saw a big flash of light and when he looked outside, he saw two bodies lying on the ground outside his house.

The man, who did not want to be named, said: "I've been told it was a police chase.

"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."

A bicycle seat and other debris in bushes near the crash

The man added that it was an "accident blackspot" with many crashes at the scene before.

A bent signpost and two traffic bollards could be seen today at the side of the road where the accident happened, with displaced earth underneath it.

A bicycle seat and other debris could be seen in bushes to the side of the road, which has a 30mph speed limit.

Parish council chairman Rick Jones said: "Reading is nearby and car crime is a normal occurrence in areas like that.

"I do know of cars being stolen and police chasing them, and that road where the incident happened lends itself to cars travelling fast.

"It's a shock. It's a very quiet village normally."

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: "The BMW, which was travelling on the A329 Purley Rise, subsequently collided with two cyclists, who both died at the scene.

"Specialist officers are currently in the process of informing and supporting their next of kin."

The BMW's driver 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.

The road remains closed between the junctions of Westbury Lane and Sherwood Rise while officers examine the scene.

Purley on Thames is one of the areas worst hit by the flooding in the Thames Valley.

Two bollards near where two cyclists died

Labour leader Ed Miliband visited the village earlier this week and urged the Government to put pressure on insurance companies so that flood victims do not have to wait for payouts.

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