A man linked to an "horrific" collision that killed three teenage boys last Friday (26 January) is being hunted by police who believe he potentially fled the scene of the crash.

The three boys - two aged 16 and one aged 17 - are understood to have been on the pavement with a group of their friends on Shepiston Lane, Hayes, in London, at approximately 8:40pm on Friday when a black Audi A5 collided with them.

The three victims have been named locally as Harry Louis Rice, George Wilkinson and Josh Kennedy.

A 28-year-old male, arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, was detained by members of the public and reports say that he was assaulted before police arrived at the scene.

Detectives say that at least one other male left the car following the collision and remains unidentified.

The vehicle involved is believed to have been travelling at high speed before coming to a stop a short distance away from the collision, on the M4 Junction 4, near an Esso petrol station.

The 28-year-old arrestee was taken to a west London hospital for treatment and has now been taken to a north London police station for questioning.

Despite the best efforts of the London Ambulance Service (LAS) all three teenagers died at the scene. The other teenagers present were not injured. All of the next of kin of the deceased have been informed. A post-mortem examination will be held in due course.

Friends of the killed teenagers said that the three victims had been walking to a nearby football club where a 16th birthday party was taking place.

Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of the collision and the number of occupants in the vehicle involved. Temporary road closures have now been lifted.

Tony Kitchin, 44, who works as a security guard nearby, told the Mirror: "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."

DS Jane Shaw, of the London Metropolitan Police's serious collision investigation unit, said: "These are horrific circumstances that have resulted in three young people on a night out losing their lives. We know that there was a large party nearby and many people would have been travelling through the area and saw what happened or witnessed the aftermath.

"I need these witnesses to contact police immediately. We are also particularly keen to trace other motorists travelling through the area at the time."

Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to call the Serious Collision Investigation Unit directly on 0208 991 9555 quoting ref 7843 of 26 January, or call 101 or tweet @MetCC. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.