Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 27°C

min temp: 16°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

18:32 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.

shares

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.

shares

0 comments

Bolts of lightning during the storms above Ipswich in the early hours of Saturday, pictured by Tina Boniface

Fierce lightning storms swept over Suffolk and Essex last night.

John McGuire

A 25-year-old man has gone missing from a mental health unit in Colchester.

National Lottery winners pictured helping out on a build at Black Notley Community Association in Braintree, Essex. Pictured are the team working hard in the sunshine to complete the job.

Lottery winners with a combined worth of £25million mucked in to help create a holiday haven in Black Notley.

Suffolk county councillor Lisa Chambers

More than 90% of parents in Suffolk have had their first-choice places accepted for their children starting school this September, it has been revealed.

Mandy Hearle launches her Ping project

A fundraiser who last year completed a daily dare day for global emergency medical aid has taken on an equally ambitious venture for 2015.

Actor, Dudley Sutton, who plays William Makepeace in Emmerdale and was Tinker in Lovejoy, will be exhibiting his art work at the Aldeburgh Beach Lookout.

Perhaps best known for his long and distinguished acting career, Dudley Sutton harbours myriad other talents – some of which are displayed on the coast today.

The police helicopter was deployed to help the search.

Concern in growing for a man who is missing from the Cambian Fairview Hospital in Colchester.

There has been 64 serious motorcycle crashes in Essex

A major campaign is being launched to educate motorcyclists as the number of serious crashes involving riders on Essex roads continues to rise.

Hundreds of families gathered at Portman Road to watch the outdoor screening of Frozen.

Portman Road was transformed to a world of snowflakes and ice despite the 26C (78.8F) sunshine this morning.

Upper Brook Street in Ipswich.

A Trimley St Martin man who fractured a man’s collar bone in a drunken late-night attack in Ipswich town centre has been given a suspended jail term.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages