SHOCKED residents told how they escaped serious injury when a car hurtled down a 30mph residential street and left a trail of destruction in its wake.

According to eye-witnesses, the powerful BMW lost control at more than 70 mph on Cliffe Lane, Great Harwood, swerved inches past the rear of a couple’s moving car — forcing them to mount the pavement — before destroying a parked vehicle and a 200-year-old stone wall.

It then hit a second parked car, hit a lamppost, spun round and came to rest 100 yards further down the road in a hail of smashed glass and twisted metal.

Alan Boyer, who was driving home with his fiancee Linda Jones, said: “I saw this car coming behind me round the bend at 75mph and had to swerve onto the pavement by the Dog and Otter to avoid it.

“It missed us by a split second, just inches. We are lucky to be alive.”

Pamela Fawcett was at home above the original Great Harwood police and fire station on Cliffe Lane when she heard the crash and then saw her husband’s Peugeot 607 almost split in two. She said her front wall was destroyed as the car span round and ended up facing the opposite direction.

Three or four men, who police said were Asian, then sprinted from the wreckage. One was stopped by the police minutes later.

The 57-year-old former prison worker said: “My husband Andrew had just parked across the drive and gone to the local shop for a lottery ticket.

“I was about to get in the car and drive to my daughters’ when the accident happened.

“A few minutes sooner or later and one of us would have been killed. We are lucky to be alive. The car was split in two. How they survived I don’t know. The car must have been doing 75 or 85 miles an hour.

“This is a residential road with a double bend and exits from Great Harwood Cricket Club and the Dog and Otter. It was reckless driving by people who did not care who they might kill.”

Investigating officer PC Mark Royle-Evitt said: “A car came down the road at excessive speed and lost control. It was dangerous driving and fortunate it did not cause serious or fatal injuries. We are appealing for witnesses to help identify the other Asian males in car.”