A man thought to have fled the scene of a “horrific” crash that killed three teenage boys is being hunted by police.
The three victims, who died after the Audi mounted the pavement in London , were named locally as Harry Louis Rice, George Wilkinson and Josh Kennedy.
A man, 28, who was in the car when it crashed, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
The Met say they believe at least one other man ran off, after the collision on Shepiston Lane, Hayes, on Friday.
The 28-year-old was detained by members of the public and assaulted before the police arrived, according to witnesses.
Detectives have not ruled out the possibility of more passengers in the black Audi, which is believed to have been travelling at high speed before hitting a lamppost yards from an Esso petrol station.
The victims, two aged 16 and one 17, were on their way to a 16th birthday party at a nearby football club.
They were confirmed dead at the scene, following the crash at about 20:40 GMT.
“Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of the collision and the number of occupants in the vehicle involved,” the Met said in a statement.
The detained suspect was apprehended by members of the public before he was arrested and taken to hospital for treatment. He is being questioned at a north London police station.
According to staff working at the petrol station a group of teenagers had been fighting in the forecourt minutes before the crash.
Following the crash, schools administrator Jake Webb, 18, saw two white youths attacking an Asian man on the side of the road near the scene as he was driving towards Hayes.
He said: “We saw two white boys and they were attacking an Asian man. They were just kicking and punching him.”
‘They were hysterical’
He and his friend, Amamdeep Matharoo, 27, pulled over and Mr Webb said: “I said ‘can you stop that, we’re going to call 999’.
“They said ‘please call the police. He’s hit our friend’.”
Mr Matharoo said: “The lads were shouting on the phone. They were saying ‘three of our friends are dead’. They were hysterical and in pieces.”
Mr Webb and Mr Matharoo returned to the scene of the crash on Saturday to lay tributes to the victim.
The victims’ next of kin have been informed, and a post-mortem examination will be held in due course.
Other teenagers who were standing with the boys were uninjured.
One tribute left at the scene read: “George Boy, I love you so much, love Kev, Vinnie.”
Another said: “I thought I would never have to write this and I don’t know what to write but I will always love and miss you millions.”
Elsewhere, a card read “To my bro, always together forever,” while a fourth said: “To my darling baby boi my heart is broken, love mum, Vinnie.”
Tony Kitchin, 44, who works as a security guard at a haulage firm nearby, said: “This road is busy 24/7. It’s a speed trap.
“I’m really surprised we haven’t had more horrific accidents like this.
“No parent should have to deal with that. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends of the people who lost their lives last night.”
Det Sgt Jane Shaw, from the Met’s serious collision investigation unit, said: “There are horrific circumstances that have resulted in three young people losing their lives.”
She appealed for anyone who saw what happened to contact the police.