TWO men have been arrested after a father was critically injured and his son killed in crash on Thamesdown Drive early yesterday morning.

Just after 6.30am, a red Nissan was attempting to turn into the Orbital Retail Park and was struck by a blue Vauxhall Astra travelling the opposite way from the direction of the Blunsdon Arms Hotel.

Two men in their 20s riding in the Astra suffered minor injuries but the passenger in the Nissan, a man in his 30s, was killed, while the driver, his father, who was in his 50s, remains in stable but critical condition at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

Police were called at about 6.40am, along with ambulance crews and the fire service, who had to cut the driver free from the Nissan. He was aneasthetised on the scene by paramedics from Wiltshire Air Ambulance and taken by road to Southmead, where he remains.

The blue Astra ended up more than 500 yards from the collision and was on fire when emergency services arrived.

The passenger of the Nissan was thrown from the car and rushed to Great Western Hospital where he was later confirmed dead.

A police dog unit was dispatched to give chase after the driver of the Astra fled the scene. Two men are currently in custody at Gablecross Police Station in connection with the incident.

The road was closed in both directions between Torun Way and Cricklade Road for nearly eight hours until shortly before 2pm while a major investigation was carried out.

Sergeant Steve Love, of the roads policing team, said: “It appears that a red Nissan has been trying to turn right into the Orbital Retail Park when it has come into collision with a blue Astra travelling in the opposite direction.

“The two occupants in the Astra suffered minor injuries, and the driver of the Nissan is currently in a critical condition.

“The Astra had been travelling from the direction of the Blunsdon Arms hotel. It has come into collision and struck the near side of the Nissan. which has caused it to rotate 360 degrees.

“We had two units from the serious collision investigation team and officers from the Tri-Force roads policing unit in attendance.

“Due to the nature and scale of the investigation the road had to be closed for a number of hours.We expected it to last until at least midday, and we tried our best not to impact on the retail park.”

A spokesman for the South Western Ambulance Service said: “One patient was trapped inside the Nissan and was taken to Southmead.

“The air ambulance crew arrived by road with a paramedic and critical care doctor who treated the patient who had been trapped.

“He was in a serious condition and had to be made unconscious for the transfer by road. The passenger of the car had been ejected and was declared deceased at Great Western Hospital.”

A spokesman for Wiltshire Fire and Rescue said: “Two pumping appliances were dispatched from Stratton and an emergency appliance from Chippenham. Hydraulic cutting equipment was used to cut the driver out of the Nissan. The Astra was on fire when we arrived at the scene, and was extinguished by 8am.”

Drivers were advised to avoid the area throught day as diversions were put in place.

Police are appealing for any witnesses to the incident to contact them on non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.