FOUR young men killed when a car crashed into a house and burst into flames were heard screaming "help us" as horrified witnesses tried in vain to save them, locals claimed today.
Neighbours today told how it sounded like a "bomb going off" when the group's car smashed into a home in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Locals rushed outside – finding the car on its side as flames consumed the vehicle outside the Derry Hill home near Calne, Wiltshire, about 3am.
Retired builder Peter Connolly and his wife Margaret today told The Sun Online how they had desperately tried to free the men after the car smashed into their home but the fire was too intense.
As the couple tried desperately to get them out, the terrified men trapped inside the blazing car screamed: “Help us. Please get us out.”
The car, on its side just feet from the front door of the Connollys’ brick-built lodge, had spun out of control seconds earlier as it drove along the A4 road in Derry Hill, near Chippenham, Wilts, in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The four young men inside were tragically killed.
Mr Connolly, who is in his early 70s, told the Sun Online he had only just got to sleep when the smash happened, at 3am.
He said: “I’d gone up to bed just after 2am because I was watching the TV downstairs.
“I’d just nodded off when there was a sound like a bomb going off.
“It made the whole house rattle and shake.
“I was sleeping just four feet from where the car struck the house.”
The force blew out the glass in his bedroom window and the sitting room window below.
The impact of the car slamming into the 19th century house was so strong it caused Mr Connolly’s wrist watch to stop at the exact moment.
When the Connollys hurried outside to find out what had happened, they saw the car in flames and in its side in their front garden and tried to help the young men trapped inside.
Neighbour Ada Walker, a 59-year-old civil servant told of the couple’s heroic efforts to rescue them: “The men were inside, unable to free themselves and begging for help.
“Peter told me they were screaming 'Help us. Please get us out'.
“But Peter and Margaret were being beaten back by the intensity of the heat from the burning vehicle and they couldn’t get close enough to get them out. It is heartbreaking.
“They did everything they could but the flames were just too hot.
“Peter and Margaret were in state of total shock. They are devastated.”
Mrs Walker said all residents in the houses lining the A4 near the crash site were evacuated by police immediately after the horror.
“They were concerned the car would completely explode and cause knock-on fires to properties,” she said.
Tributes have today started to pour in for the four young men killed in the crash.
Peter and Margaret were being beaten back by the intensity of the heat from the burning vehicle
One pal wrote: "So sad, such a waste of life, our hearts go out to the families."
Another said they had gone to school with one of the "funny and charming" victims, saying she had been left "heartbroken" by the news.
A third said: "RIP to some of my closest mates you will be extremely missed. Fly high boys."
Supt Steve Cox, of Wiltshire Police, said: “This was an absolutely horrific collision on our roads in the early hours of this morning.
“All blue light services attended the scene and were met with devastating scenes after a vehicle travelling along the A4 collided with a house and caught on fire.”
He added: “All four occupants of the vehicle died at the scene. Their families have been informed and we are in the process of assigning each family with specialist trained officers.
“My thoughts, and the thoughts of all at Wiltshire Police are with them all today.”
The A4 and the A342 was closed while investigation and recovery work continued.
Anyone with information regarding the collision is urged to call 101 and quote log number 64 of August 16.
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