Trucker in lucky escape

A LORRY driver had a lucky escape when his tractor unit skidded in the rain and crashed sideways into the end of a bridge above a railway line.If his unit had not slewed sideways it could have crashed onto the line 20ft below police said.

A LORRY driver had a lucky escape when his tractor unit skidded in the rain and crashed sideways into the end of a bridge above a railway line.

If his unit had not slewed sideways it could have crashed onto the line 20ft below police said.

The impact destroyed a wheel and most of the front of the £20,000 unit, as well as a section of the wall, which separates pedestrians from the carriageway across the bridge.

Self employed driver Hamid Zandi, 51, was heading home from Harwich when he had to brake sharply on the A137 at Brantham as a bus ahead of him stopped with no warning as it entered the bridge.


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Mr Zandi, of Barsham City, near Beccles, said it had been pouring with rain as he followed the bus packed with passengers onto the bridge over the Norwich to London, Liverpool Street, line at about 2pm yesterday.

He said: "The bus sort of slowed down as we came to the bridge and I slowed down behind him. Then the bus moved forward again and then slammed on its brakes.

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"I slammed mine on and next thing I knew I was going into the bridge. I was lucky. I could have gone down the bank and been killed by the weight of the truck on top of me.

"I'm just so relieved no-one's been hurt. I've been driving lorries for 27 years and this is the first time I've ever had an accident."

Mr Zandi escaped with a small cut to his forehead and a bruised shoulder but Pc Chris Cubitt of Suffolk police said it could have been much worse

He said: "If the vehicle had carried on going straight it would have gone onto the railway line. He was lucky he skidded sideways and the wall's done its job in stopping him going any further."

Van driver Neil Bradford was driving south across the bridge to make a delivery in Hadleigh for his company Acorn Office Supplies.

He had to stop as the tractor unit slammed into the bridge because of the bricks from the wall flying in all directions and creating so much dust he could not see.

He said: "All the brick rubble flew across the road into my van and dented the side. It was lucky he had no trailer."

Both Mr Bradford and passing Balfour Beatty lorry driver Douglas Dickaman phoned the emergency services to get trains stopped on the line below until a safety check could be carried out.

An employee of Network Rail, Paul Osborne, was called to assess the damage.

He said: "The trains were stopped for about half an hour and there will be some delays but only for a short while."

One lane of the A137 across the bridge was blocked by the wreckage and traffic had to be directed by police for about three hours until the unit could be removed.

Pc Cubitt said he did not expect any criminal charges to arise from the accident as all the indications were that the vehicles had been travelling within the speed limit and a safe distance apart.

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