AN ‘OUT-OF-CONTROL’ quad bike ploughed into a mother and son as they walked on a pavement along a busy road.

A 56-year-old man and a 77-year-old woman suffered serious injuries when the driver of the off-road vehicle careered into them in Manchester Road, Nelson.

The elderly woman suffered serious head injuries, including losing skin from the back of her head, and was drifting in and out of consciousness.

She also suffered a broken leg, shoulder and ribs.

Her son was left with two compound fractures to his ankle, with bones pertruding from the skin and a broken leg.

They were both taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital for treatment.

A 23-year-old man from Burnley, who is believed to be the rider of the quad bike, has been arrested on suspicion of failing to stop at the scene of an accident and aggravated vehicle taking.

He was detained after handing himself into police at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, suffering from minor injuries.

He was being questioned in police custody last night.

A female police officer was also taken to hospital for treatment after fainting at the scene.

Witnesses described hearing an engine ‘roar’ and a loud bang as the bike smashed into a wall.

Zeib Abbas, 20, who works in Scoopz ice cream shop across the road from the collision, said: “There was a guy riding a quad bike, he went out of control and then crashed into two people.

“I went out to see what was going on and some people had gathered around.

“The two people fell down as soon as they had been hit.

“I feel really bad for them, they just could not get out of the way.”

Ibrahim Mohammed, of Westmorland Road, Nelson, said he was shopping in Manchester Road when the collision happened.

He said: “I saw the quad bike and there were two people on the floor.

“The paramedics put an oxygen mask on them and then put them on a stretcher.

“The next thing it got a bit more serious and they put them in an ambulance.

“I was really worried and I am really shocked.

“I really hope they are OK and my heart goes out to them.”

The collision, which happened at around 3.20 yesterday afternoon, took place outside the home of Shafqat Hussain and his 12-year-old son Zurain Shafqat, who was off school ill.

Zurain said: “It was really shocking.

“The quad bike crashed into the wall outside the house and scraped along it.

“I was too scared to go out.

“I was just watching out of the window.”

Mr Hussain, 41, said: “Zurain was in the back room and he heard an engine roar first and then a big bang.

“I came outside and saw a couple of people lying on the floor.”

The black quad bike had a 650cc engine and is not thought to have been modified.

Sgt Malcolm Bell said: “We have had a quad bike which was being driven by a man who has lost control and collided with two pedestrians.

“They have received serious injuries but it is not thought they are life threatening.

“A 23-year-old man from Burnley has been arrested on suspicion of failing to stop at the scene of an accident and aggravated vehicle taking and he is helping us with our inquiries.

“We have been looking at CCTV and our investigations are continuing.

“I would appeal for anybody who saw the collision to come forward.”

Road Safety charity Brake said quad bikes should be handled with serious care if driven on the road.

A spokesman said: “A quad bike’s engine normally varies between 50cc and 650cc, according to the model.

“Quad bikes handle neither like a car or a motorcycle.

“Their response can be sudden.

“They can be easily overturned if not controlled properly when going uphill or downhill, crossing obstacles or cornering: these manoeuvres require specific precautions and technique which need to be developed.”

Anyone with information about the incident should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.