AN off-duty police officer desperately tried to save the life of an injured motorcyclist after a road crash in which he was thrown from his bike into a river.

The man was pulled from the water by the officer and others arriving on the scene before desperate attempts were made to resuscitate him following the accident involving a BMW.

But sadly their efforts were in vain and the biker was pronounced dead at the roadside.

The collision happened yesterday afternoon in Winchester Road, running between Waltham Chase and Bishop’s Waltham, around 1.45pm.

Residents described hearing a loud bang and seeing steam coming from the river.

The victim’s Suzuki motorcycle had collided with a BMW being driven by a 23-year-old woman, just beyond the Chase Inn.

She was yesterday assisting police with their enquiries.

Police Sergeant Dave Sanderson, of Fratton Roads Policing unit, said the motorcycle had ended up in the ditch that runs alongside the road.

Then off-duty police and police officers gave cardio pulmonary resuscitation until the air ambulance arrived.

“All that could be done was done unfortunately,” said Sgt Sanderson.

The road was closed off from Clewers Hill to Paradise Lane to preserve the scene while police carried out an investigation.

A woman who lives close by told the Daily Echo: “There was a tremendous bang – I thought it was a car on fire in the river.

“But the motorbike was in the river and went in so hot it sent up steam.”

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said: “I’ve never seen so many emergency vehicles in my life, we have had accidents but nothing like that.

“It’s sad to think it’s happened at this time of year for anyone.”

A woman who also lives in the road, said: “I heard a motorbike and then it went quiet.

“I knew what had happened when I saw the traffic starting to park up.

“It’s very sad, it’s awful – it’s somebody’s son, he could be somebody’s husband, somebody’s dad.”

Matthew Evans, 41, of Waltham Chase, had been walking in fields nearby with his three sons.

He said he saw emergency vehicles then five minutes later the air ambulance arrived.

Police are appealing for witnesses to call Insp Wakeford at Fratton Roads Policing unit on 101.