Woman dies as van hits revellers: The new year celebrations leave 12 people dead after accidents on the roads and outbreaks of violence

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The Independent Online
REVELLERS dancing the hokey cokey in fog outside a pub early yesterday were struck by a van which killed 77-year-old Kathleen Martin and seriously injured a 24-year-old man. They were among 12 deaths and scores of injuries during new year celebrations that ended abruptly in road accidents, murder, rape and fights.

Mrs Martin was ringing a bell in the middle of a circle of people who had left the Cross Hands pub, near Bristol. 'We were all singing 'Auld Lang Syne', ' her widower, Wilf, said yesterday. 'Then this car came out of the fog and there was a huge crash.' Police said the driver had been arrested.

A 19-year-old youth will appear at Hamilton Sheriff court today charged with the murder of Robert Connor of Shotts, Strathclyde, who suffered fatal head injuries in an incident outside a house in the town around 4am.

Police in Plymouth said a man died after being involved in a fight at Rackham's wine bar in St Andrew's Street. Three men were last night being questioned by police. In the Mutley area of Plymouth, a woman of 27 was grabbed from behind early yesterday by a well-built man who punched her face and kicked her to the ground before raping her. The attacker, who had a local accent and was wearing a brown leather or suede jacket, may have scratches on his face and neck.

Three men died in hit-and-run collisions. Evan Davies, 72, was killed at about 12.40am as he walked along the road in his home town of Troedyrhiw, near Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Glamorgan. South Wales Police want to question a dark-haired youth seen driving an F-registered Ford Fiesta with a blonde woman by his side.

Sean Wren, 21, died 78 minutes into the new year when he was struck by a vehicle as he walked with a friend from a pub in Great Totham, Essex.

In London, police were seeking the driver of a Saab who rammed into the back of a white BMW and then sped off, leaving the driver, Tony Sinclair, 34, of Forest Hill, south London, dead and three passengers injured. The man was thought to have had a row with the occupants of the BMW.

One woman was killed and 30 people injured, three seriously, in a 44-vehicle crash in fog on the A2 near Northfleet, Kent, yesterday. Police said traffic was travelling too fast in bright sunshine towards London when a fog bank brought visibility down to 10 feet.

Becky Lowe, 16, of Wednesbury, West Midlands, died and another woman was seriously hurt when their car overturned on the M54 at Telford, Shropshire.

In North Yorkshire, police said Paul Scurr, 52, of Ripon, died when he fell off a pavement into the path of a car at 2am. In Belfast, an 83-year-old woman died in a late-night collision with a car in Falls Road.

One person died and four were injured in a two-car crash on the A76 Dumfries-Kilmarnock road two miles north of Kirkconnel.

Glendon Reid, 27, died after he and four 15-year-old girls were cut free from a crashed car in Stoke Newington, north London, after leaving a new year's party in a night-club.

Police cells in Dorset were filled after officers made 31 arrests overnight, mainly for drunkenness and assaults.

The Thames Valley force commandeered a double-decker bus to take prisoners to Reading police station.

More than 80,000 people saw in the new year at Trafalgar Square, London. Police made 90 arrests and 42 people needed hospital treatment. In Edinburgh, about 25,000 people celebrated Hogmanay at the Tron.

(Photograph omitted)

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