Two cyclists killed in crash with car as police probe incident in flood-hit Purley on Thames


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The Independent Online

Two cyclists have died after they were struck by a car as police investigated an 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.

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

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.

An Independent Police Complaints Commission spokeswoman said: "We sent investigators to the scene and we are carrying out an assessment.

"Our people on the ground are looking into the circumstances and in time will decide the level of IPCC involvement."

The A329 Purley Rise, between the junctions of Westbury Lane and Sherwood Rise, reopened at about 7am.

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

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.

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."

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."