A MOTORIST was killed after his car hit a parked car, crashed into van and then toppled a concrete bollard in a residential street.

Last night, police in Darlington said the dead man, Alexander Brian Hayes, 36, must have been travelling at "excessive speed" before the crash, in which he sustained severe injuries.

The accident happened on a road where residents have frequently called for help to slow down traffic, warning that a tragedy could easily happen.

East Mount Road bends sharply and links industrial areas with Haughton Road and Northgate, in Darlington.

The accident happened at about 7pm on Saturday.

Neighbours described the sound of the crash as "like an explosion" and "loud enough to make the house shake".

Mr Hayes was taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital, but doctors were unable to save him and he died less than 45 minutes later.

In 2003, residents from the road, which is a 30mph zone, collected a petition, asking the council for more speed restrictions.

Earlier this year, resident Carole Gilmour raised fears that someone would be killed if more was not done.

Councillor Ray Flowers said yesterday: "We have done speed checks on three occasions and 85 per cent of people were going 30mph or less, but it is a busy road."

A parked red Rover vehicle was so badly damaged in Saturday's crash that it had to be written off.

Its owner, who did not want to be named, said: "There was no braking or skidding, just a very big bang.

"I looked out of my window and my car looked okay, but the back axle was badly damaged and it has had to be written off."

A white Vauxhall van, which was also parked, was badly damaged.

Katherine Earley, 18, who lives next to the crash site, said: "There was this huge bang and the whole house shook. The white van had been knocked ten yards down the street.

"People just go too fast on this road and there have been quite a lot of accidents before."

Matthew Noye, 16, said: "I thought there had been an explosion, but when I looked out of the window the car was wrapped around the bollard."

The road was closed from 7.50pm to 9.20pm.

Anyone who saw the car before the crash, or who witnessed the accident is asked to call the police accident unit on 0845-60-60-365