Islington crash: Witnesses tell of horror as car 'ploughs into crowd' outside Essex Road pub

Sean Morrison

Witnesses have told of the horrifying moment a car allegedly ploughed into revellers outside a pub in a terrifying smash in Islington.

A car came careering around a corner before crashing into people gathered outside the Old Queen’s Head pub in Essex Road, witnesses say.

According to the pub’s owner, the vehicle narrowly avoided a large queue of people waiting to get into the venue shortly before 11pm on Saturday night.

People were reportedly fleeing in panic from the scene as the Peugeot Partner crashed into pedestrians.

Several people were injured after a car ploughed into pedestrians in Essex Road, Islington (Shulem Stern/Twitter)

Old Queen’s Head owner Steve Ball arrived at the pub only minutes after the dramatic crash, and said he viewed the CCTV images of the moment it happened.

He said: “The whole thing was over in a flash. The car was obviously, I think, going at speed when it hit the pavement.

“I got there very quickly after the incident. The police were already there so they must have got there in seconds.

“My first thought, my first question, was: ‘Was it a terrorist?’. But an officer I spoke to categorically said it wasn’t."

Two men and one woman were injured in the crash, after which a driver and passenger are said to have abandoned the car and fled the scene on foot.

None of the injuries are thought to be life-threatening.

Police confirmed the incident - which happened days after a car mounted a pavement in the deadly terror attack on Westminster - was not being treated as terror-related.

Police have said four men were held on suspicion of GBH with intent and possession of points and blades following the incident (Shulem Stern/Twitter)

Mr Ball added: “Fortunately, [the car] narrowly missed a large queue of people waiting to get in to the pub.

“It was 11pm on a Saturday, which is the busiest time for us. It could have been much, much worse.”

Steph Rundle, 30, who was in another pub just a two minute walk from the scene, described how people ran in horror from what they thought was another terror attack.

She said: “All I saw was the aftermath of it all. I was in a pub down the road on the same street, and lots of people were running towards us.

“There was panic on everybody’s faces, and with what happened on Wednesday I think that only added to how worried everyone was.”

MP for Islington South Emily Thornberry tweeted: "My thoughts with those injured & terrified by incident in Essex Rd last night.

“Today we must remain calm, it's crime not a terrorist attack."

Scotland Yard said four men were held on suspicion of GBH with intent and possession of points and blades.

The road remained closed on Sunday morning but has since been reopened.

Anyone with information can contact Islington Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.