Xemxija Hill will continue to claim people’s lives unless something is done to stop drivers from speeding along that stretch of road, concerned residents said after witnessing a fatal accident there on Sunday evening.

A 30-year-old Tunisian woman was hit by a Mercedes Benz C350 coming up the hill just after 8pm.

She died on impact, as her husband “touched her and wailed in grief”, kneeling by her side, witnesses said.

Residents in the area believe the couple were in Malta “to celebrate something”. They were staying in a rental apartment across the road from where the accident occurred. The man is being treated for shock, according to national broadcaster TVM.

It is believed the woman was crossing the road when she was hit but it is not clear if she was doing so at the pedestrian lights nearby. The impact catapulted her into the air and the car, driven by a 42-year-old, also hit three parked cars. One of them was pushed into a railing and dislodged it. A magisterial inquiry is being held.

Two days after the accident, the violence of the crash was still evident. Wire fencing had replaced the missing railing and bits of broken glass lay on the pavement. There was a broken silver Mercedes badge near some dark stains on the ground.

Residents who spoke to Times of Malta were still shaken.

Godwin Cutajar, owner of Beachaven club, located a few metres away, was at home, just across the road from the accident, when it happened.

“When we heard the commotion we went outside. We saw a macabre scene,” he said shaking his head slowly.

“There was a woman on the ground and a man near her. He was shouting and touching her. I have never heard anyone shout the way that man did.”

Cutajar said this was not the first fatality on that stretch of road. In September last year, a 46-year-old German motorcyclist died in a collision with a Land Rover at the bottom the hill.

A few months earlier, in April 2020, a car overturned when a woman who was driving it collided with parked cars. No one was seriously injured.

But, last August, a 40-year-old woman from Estonia was badly hurt when the car she was riding in as a passenger crashed into some parked cars.

The speed limit on Xemxija Hill is 50 kilometres per hour but it is regularly broken.

Cutajar said something had to be done to prevent drivers from speeding.

He recalled that a speed camera installed in early 2005 was removed a year later, reinstalled in 2007 but eventually removed again.

Christian, a Belgian man who has been living in an apartment nearby for the last three years, agreed that speeding was “a big problem” on Xemxija Hill.

He, too, was at home on Sunday when he heard three loud bangs.

“I ran out onto the balcony to see a woman lying on the side of the road. It was a horrible scene. A man was crying over her… Cars drive too fast here. Something has to be done,” he said.

Mark, who owns a shop and lives in Xemxija Hill, said: “This road has become a nightmare. There is an urgent need to address the speed at which cars are constantly passing through.”

He said he was hospitalised 11 years ago when a car crashed into his car as he was taking his three-year-old out of the vehicle.

St Paul’s Bay mayor Alfred Grima said that, though there was a problem with speeding, it was not limited to Xemxija Hill.

While not opposed to speed cameras, he said this was not necessarily the answer since there were two cameras along the St Paul’s Bay bypass but cars and motorcycles were still being driven over the speed limit.

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