Tractor driver tells of lucky escape

A TRACTOR driver who escaped from his vehicle when it overturned on the A14 has today relived the horror of the accident.

By SARAH GILLETT, sarah.gillett@eveningstar.co.uk>

A TRACTOR driver who escaped from his vehicle when it overturned on the A14 has today relived the horrific accident.

The accident happened close to the Claydon turn-off on December 13 at around 6.20am.

Tractor driver Peter Knight said: “All I remember is driving along, and then suddenly the back wheels of the tractor came off the ground and I was doing a nose-dive, running along with the front two wheels on the ground and the back two wheels in the air.

“I don't remember hearing a crash or anything, I was just suddenly hurtling along staring at the ground.”

The lorry had collided with the trailer Mr Knight was pulling, this dislodged the trailer's draw-bar which then got pushed under the tractor, forcing the back end up into the air.

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Mr Knight, 54, of Horringer, near Bury St Edmunds, said: “I was being pushed along and then the tractor rolled over and I was trapped in my cab.

“I can remember two headlights coming belting towards me and thinking 'Oh my God, I hope their brakes are working'.

“Thankfully, they were.

“I managed to pull myself out of the tractor but then I realised the engine was still running so I climbed back in and turned it off.

“There was blood pouring out of my head and my left knee was really smashed up.”

Mr Knight, who runs his own turf company, suffered a broken knee cap and has had to have three operations on his knee since the accident to remove the bits of glass and shattered bone.

He spent a week in hospital before being allowed home and now faces Christmas on crutches.

He said: “I run my own business and they have no idea how long it is going to be before I can work again.

“They've told me it will be at least a year before I'm back to full fitness.

“I've got one other person that works for me but there's no way he can do all the work by himself.

“I can't drive and I'm hobbling round on crutches. I'm still in a lot of pain.”

Fears have been expressed in The Evening Star about the use of tractors and other slow-moving vehicles on busy roads like the A14.

Mr Knight said he can understand the concerns and stressed that he never uses the road during busy times.

He said: “I always try to make sure that, if I do use roads like the A12 and the A14, I arrive at wherever I'm going be 7am at the latest.

“I will never use them during the day, it's completely unfair to other road users.

“I try to use other routes where possible but sometimes it is fairer to other traffic to use the dual carriageways as they can get past you.”

Both of Mr Knight's tractors are fitted with all the required safety lights.

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