Driver questioned after Mercedes hits five outside car wash

Updated: 

Police are continuing to question a driver whose vehicle mowed down five people outside a car wash in south London.

A 25-year-old man remains in a critical condition after the Mercedes mounted the pavement and ploughed through the group in Bellingham, south-east London, on Sunday morning.

Another 25-year-old man and a woman of 35 are in a serious but stable condition, while two other men aged 36 and 46 escaped with minor injuries.

The driver was detained at the scene by an off-duty policeman.

He was treated in hospital for a head injury but has been discharged and is being questioned by police on suspicion of drink-driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Scotland Yard has confirmed the incident was not terror-related.

The crash happened opposite a row of shops in Bromley Road.

The Mercedes 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 deployed, while debris was strewn across the pavement.

A woman who witnessed the aftermath described her "shock" at the carnage, saying she feared the group were all dead.

Raee Towolawi, 26, was on her way to church with her mother, brother and sister when she heard the horrific screams of those injured.

She told the Press Association: "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 worked and lived at the car wash - they are reportedly Romanian - and that they had been waiting outside for customers when they were run over.

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," she said.

"They just didn't know what to do and were screaming and crying.

"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 called and roads around the area were closed while investigators examined the scene.

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