POLICE investigating a crash which killed a Chingford man believe he may have been speeding at the time of the collision.

Joe Slater, 23, died after the white Ford Sierra Cosworth he was driving hit a wall in Beckton just before 1am last Sunday (August 15).

Two of his friends, named locally as Adam and Hayden, who are also in their early 20s and from Chingford, were passengers in the car and suffered serious injuries.

One of the pair has been released from hospital but the other is still undergoing tests to assess the extent of his injuries.

The crash scene, in Royal Albert Way, is a site popular with car enthusiasts and road racers but police say there is no evidence to suggest Mr Slater had been racing his vehicle at the time.

Detective Sergeant Joe Lock, who is investigating the crash, said there had been wild speculation about what happened on car website forums.

He said: “At the moment we're still in the process of interviewing witnesses and piecing together what happened.

“We know the car was travelling too quickly and he lost control.

“There's nothing to suggest that they were racing at this moment in time.

“There were cars travelling which might have been in a convoy, but there weren't any other vehicles alongside.”

DS Lock confirmed rumours that plasterboard screws were found stuck to the road surface at the scene, but said they were not the cause of the crash.

He said: “There were no punctures and no evidence at all that they had anything to do with it. It's a matter that the local police are looking into.

“The screws were also stuck to the pavement and it's not clear whether they had been put there deliberately. I'm not going to speculate about it, it's a matter for the local police, but I can say they had nothing to do with the crash.”

Meantime tributes have been pouring in to Mr Slater, with friends holding a vigil to him at the crash site yesterday.

In an email to the Guardian, Mr Slater's girlfriend Hayley said: “If I sat and typed all the things we as a family loved about him I would be here til the end of time. He was beautiful.”

His funeral will take place this Friday.

Police are still wanting to speak to witnesses of the crash. They are urged to contact the Collision Investigation Unit at Chadwell Heath Traffic Garage on 020 8597 4874.

To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Did you see what happened? Did you know Mr Slater or the other passengers? Contact reporter Daniel Binns on 0779 547 6625 or via email at dbinns@london.newsquest.co.uk

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