45-tonne truck sinks into grass verge

A 45-TONNE truck collapsed into the ground when the verge beneath it gave way - a short while after it was diverted off a road which was blocked by an overturned lorry.

Will Clarke

A 45-TONNE truck collapsed into the ground when the verge beneath it gave way - a short while after it was diverted off a road which was blocked by an overturned lorry.

The massive crane-carrying truck was following police diversions onto Wattisham Road in Walsham Le Willows, near Bury St Edmunds, at 6pm on Tuesday night when the drama unfolded.

The driver had planned to travel down the A143 from Cambridge to Eye. But as he approached, it emerged the road had been closed off at Wattisfield because of an accident involving a sugar beet lorry. Suffolk police had put a diversion in place around the accident site, in which sugar beet was left all over the road, which took motorists along Wattisham Road.


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But as the crane truck driver tried to drive around a parked car in the road, the ground beneath him began sinking and he ended up stuck in a ditch created by the lorry's own weight.

The £500,000 machine had to be left in the ditch overnight while the owners, Cambridge-based Welch's Crane Hire and highway engineers from Suffolk County Council decided how best to get it out.

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Mark Williams, Welch's crane hire manager, said: “There was an accident following a police diversion. The verge wasn't strong enough for the crane, it gave way and fell into the ditch.

“We will be looking into what happened.”

A police spokeswoman said the Suffolk Constabulary was investigating what happened to the sugar beet lorry in Wattisfield around 4.45pm.

She said: “Police are appealing for witnesses following a road traffic collision in Wattisfield yesterday afternoon, a lorry overturned into a ditch shedding its load of sugar beet across the main road.

“The driver suffered minor injuries and the road was closed until midnight.”

Anybody with information relating to the Wattisfield incident should call PC Brian Calver at the Bury Roads Policing Unit on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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