Motorist killed in fireball crash on A14

A MOTORIST was killed in an inferno today when a lorry and car collided before bursting into flames on the outskirts of Ipswich.

A MOTORIST was killed in an inferno today when a lorry and car collided before bursting into flames on the outskirts of Ipswich.

The tragedy occurred at 8.35am on the Copdock-bound carriageway of the A14.

The two vehicles involved in the fatal collision were around 500 yards past the Agilent building, near the slip road leading from Asda, when the crash occurred.

Although firefighters, paramedics and police were despatched to the scene, the motorist in VW Polo had already died beneath the HGV.

Initially there were also fears of another person being missing, although it transpired this was not the case. However because of the severity of the fire and position of the Polo under the lorry it was not possible to check the rear of the car for back seat occupants for some hours after the tragedy.

Two further vehicles were also involved damaged nearby. It is not known whether today's incident came about from one crash involving all the vehicles or three separate collisions.

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Fragments from vehicles could be seen along a 100-yard stretch of the carriageway along with tyre marks.

Around 50 yards further back along the road from the lorry and Polo, a white transit van ended up on its side with damage to the front and back of the vehicle. Another 50 yards behind that, a pick-up truck with a trailer carrying a digger ploughed down a bank at the roadside, ending up in trees.

As rush-hour traffic came to a standstill specialist investigation teams arrived to begin their inquiry into what caused the fatal crash between the lorry carrying a Blue Star skip, and the vehicle the deceased was in.

During the early stages of the incident it was not known if anyone else had been in the car.

The lorry's cab was burnt out as a result of the fire. The HGV driver was treated at the scene for shock, but did not require hospital treatment.

An air ambulance was initially called in, but later stood down. Two ambulance crews were on the scene along with a rapid response crew.

Jason Gillingham, clinical field operations manager for the East of England Ambulance Service, was among the paramedics.

He said three patients were treated on site for minor injuries, although no one required hospital treatment.

Paul Collins, divisional officer for the fire service was at the scene. He said: “When we arrived on scene the car was seriously on fire. The condition of the vehicle is so serious we can not get to the rear to see if there were any back seat occupants.”

Suffolk Fire Service's assistant chief fire officer Gary Phillips added: “It really is a tragic scene and for the firefighters and other emergency services involved it is a very harrowing experience.”

Drivers using the A14 were caught up in long tailbacks and the Felixstowe-bound carriageway was due to be shut for a large part of the day.

Police immediately put in diversions at the A14 at Claydon, so traffic would be filtered through Ipswich, which was expected to be very busy throughout the morning and into the afternoon.

Meanwhile quayside operations at Felixstowe were quiet today because of the A14 being shut between Whitehouse and Sproughton.

Officials put out messages to hauliers to try and warn them to delay their journeys and stay clear of the area, but many en route to the port to unload or collect containers were already caught up in the traffic queues.

With traffic being diverted off the A14, it was slow-going for truckers, who were expected to arrive at the container terminal much later than anticipated - and the port was bracing itself to deal with many late arrivals.

This could lead to a back-log later in the day when peak-time arrives between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

How much this will affect quayside operations and whether there will be delays for drivers will depend on how quickly police manage to re-open the dual carriageway.

The delays could be even longer than at first thought if the A14 has suffered damage from the heat as a result of the fire.

N Did you witness today's crash on the A14? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to