M1 death crash: Drivers 'involved in high-speed race'

Two cars involved in a motorway crash that killed two people and left six others injured were involved in a 'high-speed race', a witness has claimed.

Onlooker Basit Nasir said two BMWs were racing at 'foolish speeds' when the accident occurred on the M1 near Watford in Hertfordshire.

The driver and rear seat passengers of one of the cars were killed. The two men have not been named by police but were aged 22 and 24 and both from east London.

Mr Nasir claimed the BMWs had sped past him at around 140mph.

"It was total mayhem", he told the Evening Standard. "There was mangled metal everywhere. It was foolish of them to drive at this sort of speed. It was raining as well."

He told the newspaper four men in a Mercedes arrived at the crash scene and scuffled with survivors.

"They all jumped out and everybody started punching each other. They said, 'What have you done? You have killed them.' I tried to break up the fight and called the police from my mobile."

The 25-year-old man from east London was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after the crash and was released on police bail pending further enquiries.

The crash happened shortly before 2.40am on Monday between junctions five and four. It resulted in the closure of five junctions of the motorway in both directions, and the southbound stretch was shut for several hours.

Hertfordshire Police appealed for witnesses to the collision or the events leading up to it to contact them on 101.