A PENSIONER has been taken to hospital with life-threatening head injuries after he was hit by a double decker bus.

The man, 76, is believed to have been using the pedestrian crossing outside Homebase, in Church Hill, Loughton, around 7.55 this morning when he was hit by a number 20 bus.

An ambulance attended in around five minutes and the man was stabilised at the scene before being taken by air ambulance to Queens Hospital, Romford, where he is in a life-threatening condition.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said the man had suffered a very serious head injury and was unconscious and not breathing very well at the scene.

Witness Mark Harvey, the managing director of nearby M&K Cleaning Service, saw the aftermath of the crash when he arrived at work this morning.

He said: “The traffic was stopped and other people were gathering I could see it was very serious.

“He was lying quite close to the zebra crossing. He'd been hit by the bus and was obviously quite badly injured.”

The road between Rectory Lane and Traps Hill was closed for several hours following the collision.

What caused the accident is not yet know, and the area is not known as a black spot.

Mr Harvey said: “The common complaint from people coming down Goldings Hill is that the zebra crossing is too close to the junction. People come out the junction quite fast, but I can't imagine why the bus would go into that person. This is a single incident in 25 years, and probably unique. I don't think I'll see the like again.”

Essex Police have said they would like to speak to any witnesses and any passengers on the bus, and people are asked to call the road policing unit at Chigwell on 0300 333 444.

A 42-year-old man from north west London has been arrested on suspicion of careless driving and released on bail until October 27.

A spokesman for Transport for London said: "There will be a full investigation into this incident".

Did you witness the incident? Call 07795 315542 or email etobin@london.newsquest.co.uk