‘It was complete chaos’: Harold Wood residents share their disbelief at fatal eight-car crash
PUBLISHED: 11:45 21 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:59 21 February 2020
Harold Wood residents living on a stretch of road where two people were killed in an eight-car crash have expressed their shock at the tragic incident.
The Metropolitan Police have now confirmed that a man in his 40s and a woman in her 50s died as a result of the crash in Squirrels Heath Road, near its junction with the A127, at 1.17pm on Thursday, February 2.
Police, the London Fire Brigade and paramedics from the London Ambulance Service were all called to the scene.
Firefighters freed three people who had been trapped in their cars, but sadly despite the emergency services' best efforts the man and woman were pronounced dead at the scene.
Six other people suffered injuries and were taken to hospital - one by London's Air Ambulance - but police have confirmed none are in a life-threatening condition.
On Friday morning (February 21) Transport for London crews had narrowed one lane of the road as they removed a bus stop that had been damaged in the crash, and police investigators were also present making door-to-door enquiries.
Susan Mylor, who lives in Redden Court Road near its junction with Squirrels Heath Road, told the Recorder the local community had been completely taken aback by the news of the fatal crash.
She said: "You get the odd driver running a red light or speeding up to get through an amber one, but I've lived here for years and it's never really been a problem at those lights.
"It was worse when they were doing all those works on the A127 last year.
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"We do hear the racers tearing down the A-road at all sorts of times. When I heard there'd been a crash that's where my head went straight away but then we found out it was by the lights [in Squirrels Heath Road].
"I can't believe it. I sit at those lights every day."
A Squirrels Heath Road resident, who asked to remain anonymous but lives less than 50m from where the crash happened, told the Recorder she regularly sees drivers sitting on their phones while waiting for the traffic lights to change, but had never been worried before about how safe the road was.
She added: "I heard the bangs, like a series of loud crashes, and then there was all this shouting outside.
"The sirens started really quickly and then all of a sudden it was complete chaos. Firefighters were cutting people out of cars, there were people with cuts and bruises everywhere.
"And then you hear that someone's died and you just feel awful. It's half term and you're sat there worried that it might have been kids.
"It's only a 30mph limit here but you do get people tearing up the road to try and make it through the lights, but that's normally when it's quieter.
"I don't know how this could have happened."
A number of other residents the Recorder spoke to said they had witnessed speeding drivers or unsafe overtaking of buses in Squirrels Heath Lane over the years, but most claimed the road was normally too busy at that time of day for traffic to have been moving particularly quickly.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed the road was reopened at 10.18pm on Thursday.
Anyone who witnessed the collision or has dash cam footage is asked to contact police on 101 quoting 3570/20FEB.