Enquiries continue into the road traffic collision on Exhibition Road on Saturday, 7th of October. A 47-year-old man arrested at the scene on suspicion of dangerous driving was released under investigation the following day.
Eleven people were injured when a black Toyota Prius minicab mounted the pavement outside the Natural History Museum and hit two other cars. Emergency services set up a cordon and evacuated the area, with bystanders fleeing the scene or being ushered into the Science Museum. It was quickly established that the incident was not terrorism-related. First-year mechanical engineering student Kyriacos Theocharides was nearby when the incident occurred.
“I heard a loud bang followed by some crunching sounds, like metal hitting metal. My initial reaction was there must have been some collision. Fearing a terrorist attack, I wanted to make sure I got out of the area as fast as possible. I started sprinting to the station in a panic, like everyone else,” he said.
He added: “I calmed down a bit when I realised the danger was most likely over and nothing had happened since the crash. I started to worry when news outlets reported a big incident. I didn’t know how bad the situation was or if anyone was seriously hurt.”
Nine people, including the driver, were taken to hospital. Most suffered minor head or leg injuries and have now been discharged from the hospital. An Imperial student was injured as people fled to South Kensington tube station and rushed down the escalators. Exhibition Road was reopened the day after the accident although a cordon is still in place around a street sign with which the car collided.
Director of the Victoria & Albert museum Tristram Hunt has suggested banning traffic from Exhibition Road. Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, he said: “We would want Exhibition Road to be pedestrianised though of course we will have to talk to the locals about how we would accomplish that.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit at Merton Traffic Garage on 020 8543 5157. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.