Crashes cause traffic gridlock in town

A SERIES of accidents almost paralysed a town and its surrounding roads leading to commuter misery for thousands of motorists.Yesterday's morning rush hour crashes on the A12 – one northbound and one southbound – led to many drivers diverting into Colchester, causing gridlock in the town centre.

By Roddy Ashworth

A SERIES of accidents almost paralysed a town and its surrounding roads leading to commuter misery for thousands of motorists.

Yesterday's morning rush hour crashes on the A12 – one northbound and one southbound – led to many drivers diverting into Colchester, causing gridlock in the town centre.

The first crash happened at around 7.20am as motorists faced long delays after an accident on the A12 at Rivenhall End.


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Essex Ambulance Service received three calls from drivers saying there had been a collision between a car and a heavy goods vehicle.

Paramedic Marc Dixon said: "The lorry had ended up on the embankment but showed few signs of damage and was able to leave the scene fairly quickly after the emergency services arrived.

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"The car unfortunately was hooked over the central reservation by its front right wheel.

"Considering the situation, the driver, a 50-year-old man from Bexley Heath, was extremely lucky not to have suffered any injuries.

"Looking at where the car was, he was extremely lucky not to have ended up on the wrong side of the barrier."

Traffic tailed back to Hatfield Peverel on the Ipswich-bound track, a distance of four miles, while it was also backed up round the Kelvedon bypass on the London bound carriageway.

The second crash happened at around 7.40am on the London-bound track of the dual carriageway when a Volkswagen Golf and a Ford Ranger pick-up truck collided and both hit the central reservation.

The road, close to the Spring Lane junction in Colchester, was closed while traffic officers cleared the scene. Neither of the male drivers, who were carrying no passengers, was hurt.

However, tailbacks quickly built up on the road during the 10 minutes it was shut with traffic queues stretching back as far as Dedham until it was partially reopened.

The heavy congestion on the A12 led to many motorists leaving the road at the Colchester interchange, driving down Ipswich Road and attempting to cut through the town on the already over-loaded A133 bypass.

This caused tailbacks as far as the Greenstead roundabout. In the meantime, however, a silver moped and a Ford Fiesta were in collision between that roundabout and the Harwich Road roundabout, closing St Andrew's Avenue.

The crash – in which neither woman motorist was hurt – happened at about 9.20am. The 32-year-old moped rider reported pain in her neck and was taken to Colchester General Hospital as a precautionary measure.

However, the closure of the road led to tailbacks on Clingoe Hill as far back as its Wivenhoe junction.

Yesterday's road chaos came after a fatal accident in north Essex the night before.

The crash happened at the junction of the A1017 and the B1054 at New England.

Essex Ambulance Service was called at 9.48pm and sent with a BASICS Emergency Doctor, an ambulance manager and an ambulance from East Anglian Ambulance Service.

An ambulance service spokesman said: "The crash between a Lotus and a Mercedes saw at least one of the vehicles end up in a garden.

"Unfortunately, despite the best effort of the crews, a 28-year-old Newmarket man was pronounced dead at the scene.

"There were two people in the Mercedes car. The passenger, a 70-year-old man from Great Cornard suffered a broken collarbone.

"He was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital for treatment. His son, who was the driver, was uninjured but went with his father."

The dead man was later identified as Kieran Jones, a stable lad who worked in Newmarket.

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