A police constable on duty, and another man were killed after being hit by a car on Friday night on the Larnaca-Ayia Napa motorway as the officer tried to remove the pedestrian from the road.

Police on Saturday declared three days of mourning after Petros Eleftheriou, 50, a police officer from the Voroklini station died from his injuries when he and the pedestrian were struck by a 45-year-old driver.

According to police spokesman Christos Andreou, at around 7.40pm on Friday night information was received that a man was walking on the motorway. He was the second person struck by the car.

Andreou said that the pedestrian was a 48-year-old man, while reports added that the man was from Poland.

“Following information about a person who was moving on foot on the Ayia Napa-Rizoelia highway, members of the special motorcyclist unit from the Voroklini police station went to the scene,” a police announcement said.

Later in the day, Andreou said that the man had been spotted walking in one direction, and after seeing the police arrive, he jumped the highway divider and police circled around to cut him off.

After stopping his vehicle on the other side of the highway, on the hard shoulder, Eleftheriou put his cars lights on and approached the pedestrian, Andreou said.

He added: “It seems a vehicle passing on the highway, an SUV type, ran over and fatally injured both the member of the police and the other person. The colleague seems to have died instantly, while the other person was taken to Larnaca General Hospital where he died after some time.”

Andreou said that the scene was cordoned off, the highway was blocked for some time, tests were carried out and various evidence was obtained by both the Larnaca traffic police and HQ traffic police, who are investigating the circumstances under which the accident took place.

“Examinations were also carried out by experts from the Criminal Investigation Department, while the chief of police himself visited the scene,” he said.

The driver of the car was given an alcotest and narcotest, which both came back negative.

Andreou added that the driver had given a statement and on Sunday at 8 am, the post-mortem is expected to be carried out on the bodies of the two victims.

Referring to the police officer who lost his life, Andreou said that “he was a conscientious member of the police, 50 years old, a family man, who in his attempt to save a person, lost his life in the line of duty. Due to the death of the 50-year-old, the police decided to declare a three-day mourning period, while the flags in all the buildings of the force will fly at half mast for three days.”

Andreou added that the police will identify the second victim in the course of the next few days.

Eleftheriou was married and had two children aged 13 and 15.