A YOUNG chef was killed after his car careered off the road and hit a tree.

The 31-year-old, who has not been formally identified, died after his Audi A6 crashed on Thursday evening.

The incident occurred on the B3070 near to the junction with Holme Lane between Wool and Wareham.

He had recently started work at the nearby Weld Arms pub in the village.

The car left the road near the junction with Holme Lane at around 7.25pm and went into a ditch on the side of the road, hitting several branches and a telegraph pole before coming to rest.

Nearby residents said emergency services arrived within five minutes, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. The road was closed for several hours and electricity cables were damaged.

Liz Goldsack, 46, who works at the nearby garden centre, was visiting her mother-in-law for her 80th birthday party on the evening of the crash.

“We were in the house opening Christmas presents when suddenly the lights flickered and went out,” she said.

“Then another driver knocked on the door and said there had been an accident.

“My husband went to see if he could help and put some cones out but the emergency services were there very quickly.

“It is not a nice thing to happen so close to Christmas.”

A neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had counted 26 accidents at the Holme Lane junction in the 19 years he has lived there.

“The problem is the road is too fast and there is not much visibility, you can’t see the bend or cars concealed in the dip beyond it,” he said.

“There is no sign to advertise the bend, and the speed limit along here should be lowered.

“We had a car come spinning off the road to stop right outside the front door a couple of years ago.”

Julian Schofield, operations manager for the company which owns the Weld Arms, said he had shaken the chef’s hand and thanked him for his hard work only a short time before the crash.

He said: “He was only with us for a week and he seemed a good guy and a hard worker.

“We had had a very busy day with a private function and the kitchen staff got a round of applause when they came out.

“It is a tragedy. One of our staff was the first to come across the crash. They had all been getting to know him so it has been a real shock.”

The crash brings the total number of people killed on Dorset’s roads this year to 25.

PC Mark Palmer, from the Dorset Police Traffic Unit, said: “I am appealing for witnesses and ask that they contact police as soon as possible.

“In particular I am keen to speak to anyone who may have information on the manner of driving of the Audi prior to the collision.”

Contact Dorset police with information on 101 quoting incident number 27:388 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.