Police are investigating the death of a cab driver found fatally injured on a roadside in south Birmingham amid unconfirmed reports his vehicle had been stolen.
At least two suspected crime scenes were sealed off after the dying man was found in Wast Hills Lane, Hopwood, on the border of Birmingham and Worcestershire, close to the Birmingham City FC training ground.
West Mercia Police confirmed he was a cab driver aged in his 30s and from the West Midlands. They said his death was being treated as “unexplained” but refused to give more details. But sources said he was fatally injured in an incident in which his cab was stolen.
A force spokesman said: “I can confirm we are investigating the unexplained death of a man. We will not be releasing any further information about the man’s injuries at this stage.”
Paramedics were sent to Wast Hills Lane at 8.50pm yesterday and found the cab driver lying at the side of the road with serious injuries.
He was pronounced dead at Selly Oak Hospital.
A white tent was today in place at the side of Wast Hills Lane, which is lined with gated country residences and farms.
The West Midlands and West Mercia forces said they were dealing with a number of crime scenes, including another in nearby Shannon Road.
Residents said Wast Hills Lane was a quiet road. Andrea McKnight, aged 42, said: “It’s a very quiet road, people do use it as a bit of a rat run during rush hour but mostly it’s just people walking their dogs.
“I had heard it’s a bot of a lovers lane and you do see cars parked up there at the top late at night but it’s their business what they’re up to.”
Carpenter Paul Murphy, aged 46, of West Heath, said: “It’s used as a rat run, you can hear the cars roar.”
Retired Peter Lane, aged 66, said the area had deteriorated in the past two years. He said: “We’ve been here 30 years, this used to be such a quiet road but now the kids come down with their fighting dogs, drugs and their fast cars and tension builds up.
“The big problem is the kids in their cars. They race up and down these lanes and they leave the cars burned out when moving.”
Workers on the nearby Wast Hills Farm said they did not know what had happened as they turned up for work this morning.
Warehouse manager Joseph Hardford, 75, said: “I don’t now what’s on. I arrived at 7.50am to see the road cordoned off. No one is telling us anything.”
Van salesman Keith Bent, aged 66 of Cheswick Green, said: “We asked the policewoman by the tape what was going on but she wouldn’t tell us anything.”
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “When crews arrived they found a man lying beside the road who had suffered very serious injuries.
“A policeman had already started first aid. Crews took over and started advanced treatment. He was taken to Selly Oak Hospital on blue lights .
“The paramedic officer travelled with the ambulance crew to provide additional help. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of ambulance and hospital staff it was not possible to save the man and he was confirmed dead shortly after arrival.”