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Bridge smash driver's narrow escape

PUBLISHED: 14:25 24 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:54 03 March 2010

A SUFFOLK lorry driver has told of his narrow escape when his vehicle smashed into a railway bridge – the second crash to happen on the site in four months.

A SUFFOLK lorry driver has told of his narrow escape when his vehicle smashed into a railway bridge – the second crash to happen on the site in four months.

The tractor unit spun three or four times before wedging into the wall of the bridge at Brantham.

But if he had crashed straight into the fence at the side of the bridge, the lorry would have plunged onto the main Norwich to London Liverpool Street railway line below.

Driver Hamid Zandi, from Beccles, said: "I have been driving lorries for 27 years and never had an accident.

"If I had gone down the bank I know I would not be standing here now."

Mr Zandi, 51 was not hurt in the crash which happened around 2pm yesterday.

He had been travelling from Harwich to Felixstowe but was not carrying a load at the time.

The crash happened at the same spot in February when a 4x4 vehicle smashed through a flimsy fence and almost landed on the main railway line just minutes before a train was due to travel on the line.

Yesterday's smash was the third to happen on the A137 in less than a year.

Trains were stopped yesterday for around half an hour causing some delays.

As the lorry hit the bridge, bricks were showered everywhere including on top of a van travelling in the opposite direction, missing the windscreen by inches.

People living nearby said they heard a huge bang.

Marijke Madder, who lives just a few doors down, said she was joined by other residents who got out their spades and helped to clear up the bricks from the road.

She said: "I was sitting in my house when I heard what I thought was a crash of thunder. The house shook, but we are used to that with the trains going by.

"Then we saw the traffic come to stop and there were bricks lying everywhere."

Mrs Madder said she believed the bridge on the Ipswich Road was too narrow.

She said: "If a lorry is coming the other way you have to stop and let it through.

"They should have traffic lights there, it would be a simple solution."

Suffolk police managed to keep the traffic flowing with just one carriageway but the road had to be completely closed to allow recovery of the lorry at around 4pm.


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