Appeal to find occupants of car seen near Branton crash

Temporary Inspector Steve Askham, from the Serious Collisions Unit, pictured at the scene, in Branton. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 26-08-15 Branton Incident MC 5
Temporary Inspector Steve Askham, from the Serious Collisions Unit, pictured at the scene, in Branton. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 26-08-15 Branton Incident MC 5
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Police probing a fireball crash that left two dead are appealing for the occupants of a car seen near the scene to get in touch.

Officers believe the occupants of an estate car towing a caravan near to the scene of the crash in Poppyfields Way Branton could have vital information.

Inspector Steve Askham, who is leading the inquiry, said: “We believe those inside an estate car towing a caravan seen at the crash site when it happened could have witnessed the collision. We are still piecing together the events of that day and information from witnesses is crucial to finding answers about what happened.

“We continue to explore the possibility that a second car was involved in the incident and this will form part of our ongoing investigation.”

Residents reported seeing cars ‘racing’ just seconds before the Renault Megane smashed into the wall of the detached property and burst into flames.

Five men were inside the car when it collided with a house and ignited in Poppyfields Way, Branton, at 12.50pm on Tuesday.

Two of them died at the scene and a third man remains in hospital in a critical condition. Police believe the other two men fled the scene.

It is thought they were very seriously injured and officers are extremely concerned for their welfare.

Despite extensive enquiries to locate them, they have not yet been found.

Insp Askham said: “From the witness accounts we have so far, one of the men had a terrible leg injury, which we believe was caused by the fire.

“People have told us the men were seriously injured and we believe they need urgent medical attention due to the impact of the crash and also the fire.

“No one has presented themselves at hospital with these injuries or at our local GPs, so the likelihood is that these men are still suffering with serious injuries, which could be life-threatening and have terrible consequences.

“I urge them to come forward to get the treatment they need. Also, I urge anyone who knows where these men are to come forward and tell us what you know so that we can ensure they are safe and well.”

The man in hospital is said to have ‘significant’ burns to his body.

Insp Askham said formal identification of the fatalities would take some time.

Witnesses or anyone with information about the collision or the whereabouts of the two men are asked to contact 101, quoting 451 of Tuesday 25 August.