In this paper we investigate particle acceleration resulting from the relaxation of unstable ion ring distributions, producing strong wave activity at the lower hybrid frequency. It is shown that strong lower hybrid wave turbulence collapses in configuration space producing density cavities containing intense electrostatic lower hybrid wave activity. The collapse of these intense nonlinear wavepackets saturate by particle acceleration producing energetic electron and ion tails. There are several mechanisms whereby unstable ion distributions could be formed in plasmas, including reflection at perpendicular shocks, tearing modes, and loss cone depletion. Numerical simulations of ion ring relaxation processes, obtained using a 2 1/2-D fully electromagnetic, relativistic particle in cell code are discussed. We apply the results to the problem of explaining energetic particle production in solar flares. The results show the simultaneous acceleration of both electrons and ions to very high energies: electrons are accelerated to energies in the range 10-500 keV, while ions are accelerated to energies of the order of MeV's. Our simulations also show wave generation at the electron cyclotron frequency. The strong turbulence collapse process leads to a highly filamented plasma producing many localized regions for particle acceleration of width similar or equal to 10 lambda(De).