Witnesses to a hit and run have described hearing a loud bang before seeing an elderly man thrown into the air this afternoon.

At around 1pm the victim, who lives in Leyton and is in his 90s, was hit by a black car which then immediately drove off at speed, according to people who witnessed the incident.

Timothy Griffith, who said he is a friend of the victim, had taken a break from work at his shop in High Road and was in Tony’s Cafe, on the corner of Coopers Lane, when the incident happened.

He said: “I was talking to the lady in the cafe when I heard it.

"I turned around and just saw him up in the air.

“I saw the back of the car, it was black. I didn’t see much else I was just focusing on the guy. I was only round his house last week.

“At first I thought he was dead but then I saw his legs moving.

"There was a lot of blood, I think he hit his head.

“Before they took him away he was trying to speak.

“I still can’t believe it. The car must have been going at about 50mph.”

Mr Griffith, who owns The Lock Shop, said a fire crew was travelling down the road and immediately dealt with the situation, closing the road to traffic.

Mehmet Kahrami, who owns Tony's Cafe directly opposite the incident, said the police arrived within minutes.

“I just saw the car,” he added.

“It was going so, so fast.

“I think it was a Vauxhall Zafira. I saw the man on the floor and one of the customers dialled 999.”

Police and the ambulance service have been approached for information.