Icy roads spark accident mayhem

EMERGENCY services across the region were stretched to the limit today after hundreds of accidents on icy roads left scores of people hurt and cars, lorries and vans in ditches.

EMERGENCY services have been stretched to the limit today dealing with a spate of accidents on the region's roads as a result of the treacherous conditions.

Police have been called to deal with 41 crashes in the county in a period of just fourteen and a half hours, with a number of cars overturning on slippery roads this morning.

Sub-zero temperatures overnight saw pools of water from yesterday's floods freeze over, causing hazardous conditions for motorists.

From 7pm to 7am Suffolk police dealt with 32 collisions, six of them requiring medical attention, and nine more were reported up to 9.30am.

Inspector Graham Burch urged drivers to be careful and allow plenty of time for their journeys.

“Virtually all of them have been caused by the weather,” he said.

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“Bear in mind we had a lot of water on the roads yesterday and a sharp frost last night, so there is inevitably going to be icy patches on the roads, especially on side roads.

“Drive carefully and make sure windscreens are clear before starting on journeys and check your lights to ensure the vehicle is in working order.”

The East of England Ambulance Service's three call centres in Norwich, Bedford and Chelmsford are also being inundated with reports of traffic accidents and falls on the ice.

In Suffolk 70 calls were received between midnight and 9am.

The most serious of the collisions last night was at Haverhill, where a red Fiat Panda and a silver Ford Fiesta crashed on the A1307 on the outskirts of the town at 9.47pm.

The road was closed off for several hours and a 16-year-old boy, who was a passenger in one of the vehicles, is today fighting for his life after being airflifted to Addenbrookes' Hospital in Cambridge with head injuries. Two other people were also taken by ambulance for treatment of minor injuries.

Amongst the series of accidents reported on Suffolk's roads today was a collision between a Transit van and a First bus heading for Ipswich on Woodbridge Road in Bredfield at 7.45am.

Four passengers were on board at the time of the crash and a young girl was treated by paramedics for a grazed knee, while the bus driver sustained a back injury and the driver of the van injured his hand. None of the injuries required hospital treatment.

Elsewhere a silver Ford Fiesta car overturned on Duke Street in Hintlesham at 6.25am, but the woman driving appeared not to have suffered any injuries.

At 6.35am police got reports a Red Peugeot had veered into a ditch in Lower Road, Onehouse but no-one was injured.

A car also went into a ditch just off the B1078 at Debach, near Woodbridge, at 6.37am and Withersfield Road in Haverhill was closed off this morning after a blue Vauxhall Corsa and a grey Mini collided at 6.46am, blocking the road. No-one was hurt in the incidents.

In a hectic morning for the Police they also dealt with a two vehicle crash on Woodbridge Road in Framlingham at 7.15am where a silver Ford Transit van and a yellow Ford Focus crashed.

A car also had to be pulled from a ditch in Great Barton, near Bury St Edmunds after it spun and left the road at 6.46am and a Renault Laguna left the road on Sandy Lane in Barham at 7.05am.