Fire engine rolls over on way to serious crash near Stowmarket which saw child taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in air ambulance

A fire engine overturned on Lower Road in Onehouse while on the way to an accident.

A fire engine overturned on Lower Road in Onehouse while on the way to an accident. - Credit: Su Anderson

A freak double accident saw Stowmarket’s fire engine crash onto its side while going to help at a serious collision which put two children in hospital.

The two-vehicle collision in Lower Road, Shelland near Stowmarket

The two-vehicle collision in Lower Road, Shelland near Stowmarket - Credit: Archant

One of the youngsters was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge while the other was taken to the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, along with two adults.

In the fire engine, which was just minutes away from the first crash on Lower Road near Shelland, one firefighter was knocked unconscious and also taken to hospital.

The road conditions may have played a part in both incidents and prompted a senior fireman to warn even specialist drivers could be caught out by icy weather.

The drama unfolded at around 8.30am yesterday to the west of Stowmarket Golf Club. A car and a van were involved in a collision attended by three ambulances as well as the air ambulance.

The child flown to Addebrooke’s suffered back and leg injuries. The child taken to the West Suffolk Hospital had “serious fractures” an East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said.

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One of the adults was suffering from chest pain and the other’s injuries were unknown, the spokesman added.

A police spokesman said the road conditions, reported to be icy, may have been a factor in the crash.

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In response to the incident Stowmarket fire station’s rescue appliance was sent to the scene with five crew members on board.

Pat Dacey, the fire service’s west district commander, said the driver reduced speed before the crash because the road was icy.

“They slowed to around 20-25mph,” he said. “However the appliance has hit some ice, hit the grass bank and rolled over.

“There was a crew of five in it at the time. Four of them are OK, just shaken and shocked.

“One member of the crew was rendered unconscious for a short period of time. He recovered consciousness and was taken to hospital by ambulance as a precaution.”

Mr Dacey said a spare vehicle would be deployed to Stowmarket fire station so it could respond to incidents again as soon as possible.

He added the safety of the fire service’s crews was paramount. It was later announced the hospitalised crew member had been discharged after precautionary checks.

Mr Dacey also warned treacherous conditions could catch out even the most experienced road users.

“Our drivers are trained to a much higher standard than members of the public,” he said.

“It goes to show even drivers considered specialists in their field can, in icy conditions and even at very low speeds, be caught out.”

The road was closed for several hours while the vehicles from both crashes were recovered.

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