"I heard a loud bang like a firecracker" - Witnesses describe car smash with Leeds tree which killed five

Witnesses living near to the crash in Leeds which killed three people including three children, one of them just 12 years old.

The crash on Stonegate Road, Leeds

A resident in Stonegate Road in Meanwood, who was nearby when the crash happened at about 9.54pm on Saturday, who wishes to remain anonymous, described hearing a "loud bang" which sounded like a "firecracker".

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The crash on Stonegate Road, Leeds

He said: "Me and my wife were watching TV some time between 9.30pm and 10pm when we heard a loud bang.

"I have seen the car which I believe had an '05 number plate completely squashed.

"Within minutes, dozens of police cars, a fire engine and several ambulances were at the scene.

"We could hear the sirens and see blue flashing lights and that's when we realised something very serious had happened.

The crash on Stonegate Road, Leeds

"The road is completely closed off this morning and the police have said I am not allowed to drive my car out of the area until later in the afternoon so I couldn't take my wife to work.

"A neighbour told me that the driver got out of the car and fled the scene."

Another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "We were out for a meal last night in Otley and when we arrived home the top of the road was blocked off round the corner from our house.

"I only heard what has happened this morning after my wife saw the news but it is very upsetting it has happened so close by.

The tree smashed into by the stolen Renault Clio

"I don't know anything more than has been reported but have seen the road is still blocked off so it must have been awful.

"It is very sad."

Another said: "Just before 10pm there were loads of flashing lights past our house but I didn't think anything of it.

"I've only realised this morning, I never heard a bang or anything similar.

The crash on Stonegate Road, Leeds

"I can't believe it."

One resident added: "I haven't heard anything, all I know is what has been reported.

"I can't move my car off my drive so I'm just heading to the shop with my son, we don't know how long the cordon will be up."

The crash on Stonegate Road, Leeds
The tree smashed into by the stolen Renault Clio