Disaster narrowly avoided in crash

A SHOP-keeper last night told how a lorry came within millimetres of wrecking his home and business after it swung up onto the pavement following an accident.

A SHOP-keeper last night told how a lorry came within millimetres of wrecking his home and business after it swung up onto the pavement following an accident.

The incident, at the junction of Girling Street and East Street in Sudbury, happened at 7.50am yesterday. A low loader lorry came off the road and spun around before coming to a halt just inches from disaster near shops and homes after colliding with a red 4x4 vehicle, said Ken Norrie, who witnessed the immediate aftermath of the incident.

Mr Norrie, who lives above his podiatry practice on the junction, said it was an accident waiting to happen and urged the highways authority to install measures to slow traffic ahead of the lights.

The lorry actually hit the wall of a neighbouring shop but fortunately a traffic light pole took the brunt of the impact, minimising the damage.

“There was such a crash - it was scary,” Mr Norrie said. “I was still in bed when it happened.

“I got outside and it was mayhem. It was fortunate it wasn't half an hour later because a lot of people walk along there into town.

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“It was a big bump and it left the lorry right up on the pavement with the back of lorry wedged against the wall of the neighbouring shop.

“I don't think anyone was hurt but there were a lot of people in shock at what had happened - it was very fortunate no one was killed.

“The junction is a disaster waiting to happen - there needs to be traffic calming measures.”

The lorry struck the traffic lights in front of Mr Norrie's shop, crushing the pole and smashing the fittings. The back of the truck hit a gas supply pipe, causing a leak.

It appears the pole absorbed most of the weight of the lorry - and Mr Norrie said it was a miracle it didn't even break the window of the shop considering the damage it did to the frame.

A spokesman for the National Grid said: “Fortunately an engineer happened to be close by at the time and he stopped the gas leak almost immediately.

“There was no real danger as the leak was outside and the gas went into the atmosphere.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council, which is responsible for the town's roads, said: “It isn't an area where speed has been considered a problem, so we have no plans for traffic calming in that area.”

A police spokesman confirmed that a red land rover and a white lorry had been involved in an accident at the junction at 7.50am.

The spokesman said: “It is also understood that a taxi driver stopped and spoke to one the drivers. We would ask this driver to get in touch with Pc Phil Peck at Sudbury police station.

“Any other witness are also asked to get in touch with Pc Peck on 01473 613 500.”

The road was reopened an hour following the crash after debris was cleared from the road but council and gas workers were still working there last night to restore the junction.

No-one was injured in the crash.

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