Man dies in crash fireball

A MAN driving the wrong way on the A14 died when his car collided with a lorry and burst into a ball of flames.The 24-year-old motorist, who has not been named but is from the Bury St Edmunds area, was killed instantly in the horrific accident, which happened just after 3am yesterday.

A MAN driving the wrong way on the A14 died when his car collided with a lorry and burst into a ball of flames.

The 24-year-old motorist, who has not been named but is from the Bury St Edmunds area, was killed instantly in the horrific accident, which happened just after 3am yesterday.

The crash, which took place near to the sugar beet factory at Bury, brings the death toll on Suffolk's roads to 36 so far this year - the same number as in the whole of last year.

Yesterday's accident caused gridlock with thousands of motorist being diverted through the centre of the town after police closed both sides of the dual carriagway for several hours.


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Suffolk police confirmed the young driver had been travelling westbound along the eastbound carriageway when the incident happened.

The lorry driver was uninjured in the crash, but was treated for shock.

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John Wilcock, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service divisional officer, said the driver involved in the accident had “no chance of survival”.

“Three crews from Bury, including the pump rescue tender, attended the scene. When they got there, there was the wreckage of a vehicle in the eastbound carriageway, and a van transporter, carrying two vans, which had its cab crushed in.”

Mr Wilcock said the car, the front half of which was engulfed with flames, had travelled around 80 yards along the carriageway after colliding with the lorry.

“There was debris over both carriageways,” he said. “Firefighters extinguished the fire quite quickly, and found there was a fatality in the vehicle. The driver had no chance of survival, although he might have died by the impact of the accident itself. Our thoughts go out to his family.”

Mr Wilcock added counselling has been offered to those crew members present at the scene of the accident.

A spokeswoman for the Highways Agency said an investigation had been launched to determine whether any damage had been caused to either carriageway as a result of the accident.

“The agency worked to get the road reopened as quickly as possible,” she said. One lane of the westbound carriageway opened at just after 10am, with the second opening at 12.30pm. The eastbound carriageway was reopened to traffic at just before 1pm.

Any witnesses to the incident are urged to contact Bury Roads Policing Unit, on 01473 613500.

n Work begins next week on clearer signs for motorists forced to take diversions off the A14 because of accidents or major roadworks.

It should ensure traffic, which is diverted through Ipswich when the A14 is closed, uses only main roads in a bid to minimise the effect on local routes.

Over the years, the road network and signs have changed and the symbols used to direct traffic have become inconsistent. Now Ipswich Borough Council has won funding to introduce new symbols and signs.

A circle will be used to direct eastbound diverted traffic and a triangle for westbound.

There are currently two diversion routes that direct motorists between the Copdock Mill interchange through to the Nacton Seven Hills interchange, one for eastbound movements and one for westbound movements.

The re-signed diversion routes will use the same roads as the existing ones - London Road, Yarmouth Road, Valley Road, Colchester Road, Heath Road, Bixley Road, and Felixstowe Road.

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