More road chaos

CHAOS hit the A140 today after a collision left a car embedded in the front of a pub and a woman seriously injured.Emergency services were called to the White Horse Inn on the notorious A140 at Stoke Ash at about 7.

By Jo Macdonald

CHAOS hit the A140 today after a collision left a car embedded in the front of a pub and a woman seriously injured.

Emergency services were called to the White Horse Inn on the notorious A140 at Stoke Ash at about 7.20am where a blue Rover and a refrigerated lorry, carrying a delivery of meat, collided at the crossroads outside the pub before smashing into the building.

It was the second crash involving a lorry on Suffolk's roads within 12 hours. Five people were taken to hospital yesterday after an accident on the A14 near Ipswich involving a heavy goods vehicle and two cars, one of which was being towed.

The female driver of the Rover car which ploughed into the White Horse Inn today was left severely trapped in her vehicle and firefighters from Eye and Debenham and the rescue tender from Ipswich were called to release her.

Leading fire fighter Michael Gosling said: "The car was embedded into the pub and we had to make the area safe before we could free her. There was rubble and rock all over the bonnet of her car."

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The woman was released and taken to Ipswich Hospital with serious injuries. Police and the ambulance service were unable to say if her injuries were believed to be life threatening. The driver of the lorry was unhurt but shaken.

Shane Aldridge, landlord of the White Horse Inn was making breakfasts when the collision happened.

He said: "I was standing in the bar and heard a big bang. I went to open the front door but couldn't because the lorry was there.

"I called the emergency services and they were here in about 10 minutes.

"In the meantime everyone here was talking to the lady trapped in the car and bringing out blankets. There was a petrol leak as well so we took some sand out for that. There wasn't much else we could do.

"I can't believe they've levelled the porch," he added.

"That was solid brick with massive concrete foundations."

Police investigations have begun into what caused the crash which left both lanes of A140 closed until about 9am.

Traffic Sergeant Martin Barnes-Smith said: "We believe the Rover was travelling towards the A14 followed by another vehicle and a lorry. Something happened at the crossroads and this is the result.

"Although the other vehicle was part of the accident it was not involved in the collision. We have spoken to the driver."

This morning's collision happened at a notorious accident blackspot. It is not the first time the pub has been damaged as a result.

Mr Aldridge said there had been seven minor accidents outside the pub in the year and a half he had run the business and in previous years vehicles had collided with the pub and the porch.

"It's notorious out there for accidents," he said.

"It's not the first time the porch has been taken off like that and someone was killed out there not many years ago.

"The main thing is people need to slow down. People are driving too fast at the crossroads but then it is the main route to Norwich.

"Even the landlady who was here before me got hit when she was pulling into the car park.

"Your eyes are always looking in your rear-view mirror, thinking slow down."

One lane of the A140 was reopened shortly after 9am but it was expected to be some time until the road was completely cleared and officers warned the entire carriageway may have to be closed again for the recovery of the two vehicles.

The accident caused major traffic disruption as vehicles queued from Yaxley to the Mendlesham mast. One driver told how she had to take a 15-mile diversion.

Anyone with information about today's crash is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 01473 613500.

In a separate accident involving a lorry, five casualties were taken to Ipswich Hospital with minor injuries after a heavy goods vehicle collided with two cars on the A14 yesterday.

The accident happened at around 8.50pm on the Ipswich bound carriageway near the Great Blakenham flyover when the lorry hit two cars, one being towed and the other doing the towing.

Firefighters had to cut the male driver of the towed car – believed to be in his 20s or 30s – free from the wreckage of the smash.

The driver and his front seat passenger both suffered minor injuries in the collision as did the driver and front seat passenger of the towing car. The lorry driver was treated for shock.

Suffolk Accident Rescue Service doctor Maarten de Cleen, who attended the smash scene, said the victims had a lucky escape. Had any of them been travelling in the back of the cars rather than the front, the outcome may have been very different.

"Any rear seat passengers of both cars would have died instantly," he said.

In another road accident in Suffolk, a 45-year-old man was taken to Ipswich Hospital with a very minor leg injury after a motorbike accident in Hadleigh which happened at around 1.30pm yesterday.

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