Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 1°C

Search

Great Dunmow/Braintree: Freak hailstorm causes accidents on ‘sheet of ice’ A120

PUBLISHED: 18:32 03 March 2014 | UPDATED: 23:19 03 March 2014

A freak hailstorm has reportedly caused multiple accidents on the A120 near Braintree, police have said. Picture: Keith Windard.

A freak hailstorm has reportedly caused multiple accidents on the A120 near Braintree, police have said. Picture: Keith Windard.

Archant

A sudden Arctic blast struck the county today when a freak hailstorm shower caused multiple accidents on the A120 near Braintree.

Up to an inch of hail fell in the space of just an hour as two police cars and around 11 other vehicles were reportedly involved in accidents and required recovery from the dual carriageway.

An eyewitness said the sudden downpour transformed the road into a “sheet of ice”.

No serious injuries were reported but a man in his 20s was treated by paramedics for minor injuries, an East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said.

Essex Police said they were called to a “number of incidents” on the A120 between Great Dunmow and Braintree at 2.30pm yesterday.

In total, some 13 cars were reportedly involved in collisions on the dual carriageway as motorists struggled to combat the sudden unseasonal surge of hail.

Writing on Twitter, Witham resident Keith Windard, said: “Don’t know how many cars exactly but around nine with the police car.

“(It) looks like the weather was to blame. Hail was bad. (It was) like a sheet of ice.

“I can have only been a minute or two behind from when it happened. Lots of other emergency services were driving from Braintree to the accident.”

Jade Ellis, also of Witham, said the hailstones were “massive”.

She said: “They split in to smaller chunks as they hit the ground. The whole of the pavement was covered, like a white sheet.”

Dan Holley, a forecaster for East Anglian-based Weatherquest, said it was not uncommon for hailstorms to form at this time of year as the heat from the sun collides with cold air in the upper atmosphere to create the storms.

“It was April showers come early,” he said. “But we are not forecasting any more for the rest of the week which should see more settled weather.”

An Essex Police spokesman confirmed two police cars, both a Ford Focus, were involved in separate single-vehicle accidents and were later recovered from the scene.

“The first call came in at 2.30pm and there (were) at least five separate incidents,” he said.

Queueing traffic was reported for several hours in both directions between Dunmow South in Great Dunmow and Felsted turn off in Felsted.

A damning dossier compiled by a senior whistleblower from the region’s ambulance trust has claimed at least 40 patients died or were harmed due to delays over Christmas and New Year - including one person who froze to death.

A senior whistleblower within the region’s ambulance trust has claimed up to 80 people could have died or come to harm because of delays over the Christmas and New Year period.

A toddler has been rushed to hospital with a fractured skull after a serious crash in Barningham this morning.

A prolific shoplifter’s 148th offence was exposed by a price tag hanging from his clothing.

Refugee and asylum seeking women living in Suffolk say getting to grips with the English language is one of the biggest challenges they face.

Education bosses in Westminster have unveiled a detailed multi-million pound plan to turn around Ipswich’s education fortunes, as ministers vow not to leave Ipswich behind.

A century ago, in December 1917, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, one of the most famous residents of Aldeburgh, died, writes Dr Lucy Harvard.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24