Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 1°C

min temp: -2°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.

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.

0 comments

The frozen mere in front of the castle on the hill at Framlingham. Picture: Sophie Pope

A few years ago, I was strolling through Framlingham with Tom, one of my children, writes Terry Hunt, editor-in-chief of the EADT and Ipswich Star.

The National Sheep Association believes an immediate move away from the single market at the point of departure from the EU could be disastrous to UK sheep farmers.

Sheep farmers have warned that the Prime Minister’s announcements on trade pose “a huge risk” to the UK sheep sector.

Prime Minister Theresa May Credit:  Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The Prime Minister Theresa May is set to become the first foreign leader to make an official visit to the new US President Donald Trump.

RNLI (stock image) Picture: James Bass

A capsized kayaker was rescued from the water at the entrance of an Essex harbour.

Sunrise at a frosty Flatford. www.parrishcolmanphotography.co.uk

Freezing weather is likely to bring widespread ice and treacherous conditions across Suffolk and north Essex tonight with temperatures as low as -7C forecast for parts of the region.

Launch of Home-Start Suffolk: East Ipswich & Coastal's annual Jail and Bail fundraiser. Volunteers get locked up in Woodbridge's Shire Hall to be released when they raise enough sponsorship (or 'bail' money).

A Suffolk charity is seeking fundraising fugitives to join its rogues gallery in the slammer.

Stock image of firefighters

A car crashed off the road on the A12 near Yoxford, Suffolk, this afternoon (January 21).

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24