CONCERNED residents have reacted after police launched a murder investigation following a late-night incident involving a fatal collision.

Essex Police were called to The Street, Little Clacton, just before 11pm on Friday after being told a man, in his 40s, had been involved in a collision with a van.

Prior to the incident, it was also reported that there had been a fight not far from The Blacksmith Arms pub.

Paramedics also attended the scene, but despite their best efforts, the man sadly died at the scene.

Officers have since launched a murder investigation and arrested a man on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, who currently remains in custody.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

The van involved has been described as a grey or silver Ford Transit with writing on the side, and it is said to have possibly been in collision with a car at the scene.

A van has since been recovered by the police but is believed to have initially fled the scene in the direction of Morrisons and Tesco.

As a result, a police cordon is now in place from The Blacksmith Arms pub, in The Street, to the Firs Caravan Park, in London Road.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

One resident, 58, who lives in London Road, near the caravan park, has been in The Blacksmith Arms pub on several occasions in the past.

Speaking while forensics carried out their work just metres away from her doorstep, the resident said: “It is really shocking to hear because nothing like this ever happens around here.

“I have lived here for four years and there has never been any trouble down this road.

“So far, there has been a lot forensics up here and a lot of police activity.

“The pub itself is a nice little, local place and whenever I have been in there it has always been a nice place to go – it is not somewhere you would associate with any trouble.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: A cordon in Holland Road near The Blacksmith Arms PubA cordon in Holland Road near The Blacksmith Arms Pub

A young couple, 32 and 36, who live in Holland Road near the pub, said they were shocked to find out a murder investigation had been launched so close to their home.

“It is scary, especially seeing as we have three small children who go to the school just up the road from where it happened,” one said.

“It is not nice for something like this to happen so close to home – it is just such a shame.

“We have lived here a couple of years now and it is such a beautiful village, and everyone is so friendly.

“The kids don’t know anything, but that is literally their route to school.

“My middle son was meant to go to a party today in a hall near where it happened, but obviously that has been cancelled.

“It is just so out of character for this area and Little Clacton.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Another resident, who does not wish to be named, says she knew of the victim as he apparently lived near her relatives. 

She said: "I felt absolutely sick this morning when I heard about what had happened.

"I think he has children as well, which is just awful - I just can't believe it."

Essex Police are now appealing for anyone who saw what happened, or might have CCTV or dash cam footage, or any other information about the incident or what led up to it, to come forward.

If you have any information contact the police on 101 quoting incident 1341 of 7 February or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.