The '140mph death race': Two killed in 2.30am crash on M1… then friends in a following car brawl with survivors at the roadside
Police bail a man after arresting him in connection with the crash
Two young men killed and four injured in early-morning BMW crash
Witnesses claim BMWs were racing at high speed before death smash
Police confirm driver and passenger aged 22 and 24 were from east London
M25, A414 and A41 suffered gridlock as five junctions are closedThree of the injured victims of the collision had to be cut free by firefighters
11:34 GMT, 4 December 2012
A brawl broke out on a motorway after a ‘140mph race’ that left two dead and six injured.
A witness reported seeing two black BMWs speeding along the M1 moments before one clipped the central reservation and bounced off a bridge into the path of the other.
The driver and a back-seat passenger in one car were killed, and both vehicles were damaged beyond recognition.
Two black BMW cars crashed in the early hours of yesterday morning on the southbound carriageway of the M1
Police closed the road for several hours yesterday morning following the collision
The collision killed two people and injured another four between junctions 4 and 5 of the motorway
But as the wreckage lay across the road, a third car pulled up on the hard shoulder and four passengers got out to begin fighting with survivors of the crash – accusing them of killing their friends.
Witness Basit Nasir said: ‘They all jumped out and everybody started punching each other. They said, “What have you done You have killed them.” I tried to break up the fight and called the police from my mobile.’
Two men aged 22 and 24 died in the accident, which happened at 2.30am yesterday.
FATAL CRASH ON M4 CAUSES DELAYS AS MOTORWAY IS CLOSED
A lorry driver died on the M4 today causing long delays.
The motorist crashed with another HGV close to the Almondsbury Interchange and police have said the eastbound carriageway would be closed for several hours.
A police spokesman said: 'Police are advising motorists to avoid the area if at all possible as serious congestion is anticipated during the peak period.
'All three lanes have been closed to allow emergency services access to the collision.
'Vehicles travelling from the west along the M4 are being urged to use the M49.
'Traffic is advised to avoid the area if at all possible and find alternative routes as the section of the motorway is likely to be closed for a significant part of the day.'
A car fire on the M4 close to the junction for the M32 also caused delays for westbound motorists but later opened to traffic.
Other accidents on diversion routes such as the M49 – where a lorry hit the central reservation – have also caused problems.
The M5 northbound was also badly affected by the M4 closure, with queues around Cribbs Causeway and Avonmouth.
Two other men travelling in the same BMW suffered serious injuries and were taken to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London, for treatment.
The four men in the other BMW – some of whom fought with men from the third car – needed hospital treatment for injuries they suffered during the crash.
Mr Nasir said a black BMW 5 Series went past him at ‘about 140mph’, closely followed by a black BMW 7 Series.
‘They appeared to be having a high-speed race,’ he said. ‘It was total mayhem.
'There was mangled metal everywhere. It was foolish of them to drive at this sort of speed.
'It was raining as well.’
He said that soon after the crash, four men in a silver Mercedes C220 pulled up at the scene and began fighting with the occupants of one of the BMWs.
Four fire engines and six ambulances were sent to deal with the accident, which happened close to junction five of the M1, near Watford.
It took firefighters about an hour to free all of the casualties from the wreckage.
Five junctions of the motorway were shut for hours in both directions following the incident, causing major delays during yesterday morning’s rush hour.
The men involved are understood to be from the Bangladeshi or Pakistani community in east London.
They are thought to have spent some of their evening in Luton and the rest in Milton Keynes before heading back to London.
Both cars were unrecognisable after the collision which resulted in the closure of five motorway junctions
Mr Nasir said he managed to help the front-seat passenger out of the BMW 5 Series but that he appeared badly dazed.
The driver of that car had been thrown across to the passenger side and was ‘totally limp’.
He also said one of the passengers in the Mercedes told him that the reason their car was further back was because it had stopped at a service station.
‘The conversation I had with the 7 Series driver was that they just went to Luton to see somebody, then they went to Milton Keynes. I think they were just on a night out,’ he added.
Thames Water said the crash delayed contractors heading to fix a burst water main which created gridlock across west London.
A 25-year-old man, from east London, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
The man has been released on police bail pending further enquiries, a Hertfordshire Police spokeswoman said.
The force has appealed for witnesses to the collision or the events leading up to it to contact them on 101.
There were long delays across north London and Hertfordshire yesterday morning as a result of the crash
The roofs of both vehicles were cut off to help free injured people inside the two cars