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Man arrested on suspicion of murder after car hits Colchester pub

The victim has been identified by a 36-year-old man.

Damage caused to the the Spinnaker Public House in Colchester (Joe Gammie/PA)
Damage caused to the the Spinnaker Public House in Colchester (Joe Gammie/PA)

By Joe Gammie, Alexander Britton and Jess Glass, PA

A 40-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a car struck a pub in Essex.

The victim has been identified as a 36-year-old man who died at the scene after a white Nissan Qashqai crashed into the Spinnaker Public House in Colchester.

Police were called to the pub in Hythe Quay to reports of a car hitting the pub shortly after 12.50am on Sunday.

A 34-year-old man was taken to hospital with life-changing injuries, Essex Police said.

Two other people, a 34-year-old woman and 33-year-old man, were also taken to hospital with minor injuries.

The arrested man has also been detained on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent, death by dangerous driving and assault.

Essex Police confirmed formal identification of the victim had not yet taken place.

Emergency personnel at the Spinnaker Public House in Colchester, Essex (Kirsty Milligan/PA)

The force added that a female who had been in the car was also taken to hospital with minor injuries.

A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said that two people had been seen in the car including a woman thought to be having a panic attack.

The neighbour said he arrived on scene within 20 minutes of the car crashing into the pub.

He added: “The car went through the wall, there were a lot of police cars and ambulances and a fire truck.

“They were setting up to lift the car. It was a bit crazy to be honest.”

The neighbour said a friend had seen it happen and rushed to help.

He added: “They came as soon as it happened apparently. There were a few people under the car and they were helping one.”

A man who said he was friends with one of the casualties told the PA news agency he was devastated to hear about the incident.

Emergency personnel at the scene (Kirsty Milligan/PA)

The man, who gave his name as Sean, said his friend was helicoptered to hospital with two broken legs, two broken hips and possibly a broken sternum.

He added: “I was devastated, absolutely devastated.

“He has injuries from the waist down, and someone was saying maybe head injuries, but I’m waiting for updates at the moment.

“He was with a group of about four people. All I know is the car just ploughed straight into the pub.”

Following the incident, Hythe Quay was closed for about seven hours and reopened at 9am.

Police tape surrounded the Spinnaker pub on Sunday morning and the remains of a trellis could be seen hanging off the blue wooden frame around a small roofed outside area.

Debris including bricks were seen on the ground under the roof.

A large wooden board has been placed over part of the pub’s wall but broken mortar and bare bricks can be seen behind it.

Long cracks run up the wall and around a broken sign, the other half of which was lying on the ground.

Officers have asked anyone who saw a white Nissan Qashqai in the area or was in the pub at the time of the incident to come forward.

Anyone with information or video footage is asked to call 101, quoting incident 63 of November 3.



From Belfast Telegraph