A DRIVER fled after escaping from a car that careered off a major Portsmouth road and somersaulted into the sea.
IT happened at 1am today when witnesses spotted the vehicle in Langstone Harbour and called the emergency services.
They reported seeing the driver get out of the badly damaged car and leave the scene following the accident on the Eastern Road, at the junction with Tangier Road.
Police have now traced and spoken to the driver but would like to hear from anyone who saw what happened.
A police spokesman said: ‘It is understood the vehicle had been driving south on Eastern Road when it came off the road and collided with the embankment.
‘It appears to have became airborne and somersaulted into the water sustaining severe damage to the front end.
‘The driver suffered slight injuries. There is nothing to suggest any other vehicles were involved.’
The police and coastguard were quickly on the scene amid fears that other people might still be in the wreck. They called for support from the RNLI Portsmouth inshore lifeboat, Brian’s Pride, to provide cover while they ensured there was no one else in the vehicle and assessed the damage, before having it towed in.
A spokesman for Portsmouth RNLI said: ‘On arrival it became clear that the vehicle had been involved in a road traffic incident along the Eastern road that had resulted in the car landing in the water.
‘The driver had been seen exiting the vehicle by witnesses but, unsure as to whether any additional casualties remained, Portsmouth ILB stood by anxiously waiting for confirmation that the vehicle was in fact clear.
‘Once the vehicle was along side the harbour wall and the vehicle had been searched for evidence of a second person the ILB stood down and returned to station shortly after 2.30am.’
A spokesman for the Coastguard said the driver had been seen to escape and run off inland.
Anyone with information can contact Fratton Roads Policing unit on 101.
*Pictures and video courtesy of the RNLI