Prisoner hurt as security van crashes
THE A14 was brought to a standstill yesterday after a prison van crashed - leaving a prisoner bound for a court appearance needing hospital treatment.A Securicor van travelling on the A14 eastbound at Kentford, near Newmarket, swerved across the carriageway before coming to a stop on its side.
THE A14 was brought to a standstill yesterday after a prison van crashed - leaving a prisoner bound for a court appearance needing hospital treatment.
A Securicor van travelling on the A14 eastbound at Kentford, near Newmarket, swerved across the carriageway before coming to a stop on its side.
Inside the van a female prisoner, who was due to appear at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates Court, was left with what were originally thought to be serious injuries.
The prisoner, who has not been identified but was being held in custody at Holloway Prison in London, was airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital for treatment but later released.
A male Securicor security officer suffered suspected cracked ribs in the crash, with the male driver of the van escaping with minor injuries. They were taken to West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds.
Police, fire and ambulance crews all raced to the scene of the accident at around 11.20am and diversions were set up while they fought to free the casualties.
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Firefighter David Patrick, who is based at Newmarket, was among the first at the scene. He said: "We used cutting equipment to cut open the hatches at the top of the van, which was pretty hard because it's an armoured vehicle.
"A couple of firefighters then climbed inside and helped the ambulance staff to get the casualties out."
Pc Joe Skippen, of Bury Traffic Unit, added: "As far as we are aware the vehicle was travelling eastbound when the driver lost control of the vehicle and it swerved across the carriageway, ending up in the westbound carriageway on its side.
"At this moment in time we do not know what caused the crash."
A joint police, prison service and Securicor investigation has been launched to pinpoint the cause of the accident, although it is not thought any other vehicles were involved.
Paula Bateman, a spokesman for Securicor, said: "We have no idea what caused the crash at the moment, but that's one of the first things that we will try to establish."
A spokesman for the Home Office said only the security officer remained in hospital last night, while the prisoner had been returned to prison care where she will continue to receive treatment.
Both lanes of the A14 were closed for just under an hour while the accident was dealt with, causing massive tailbacks.
As temperatures soared overheated drivers left their cars and sought refuge in the shadowy grass verges next to the road.
While traffic began moving again shortly after 1pm, tailbacks of up to four miles in the westbound lane were still being reported yesterday afternoon.