Trapped driver still wanted signature

ALTHOUGH trapped in his lorry after it flipped over and ploughed into two petrol pumps, a DHL driver remained determined to fulfil his duty.An eyewitness today said despite the delivery man's leg being snared in the seat of his shattered cab, he still demanded a customer's signature after a parcel was retrieved from the dashboard.

ALTHOUGH trapped in his lorry after it flipped over and ploughed into two petrol pumps, a DHL driver remained determined to fulfil his duty.

An eyewitness today said despite the delivery man's leg being snared in the seat of his shattered cab, he still demanded a customer's signature after a parcel was retrieved from the dashboard.

Bob Hoyle, who works for Castle Electrical, of Westerfield, and Pat Newbury, the petrol station's cashier, were in the Texaco garage on the Colchester-bound A12 at Capel St Mary at the time of crash.

In the aftermath Mr Hoyle said he heard the driver call out 'he's got to sign for that parcel'.


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Minutes earlier the electrician saw the lorry become airborne after a collision with a 44-ton HGV caused it career over a small wall and spin round before sliding to a halt on the forecourt.

During the crash, which happened at 8.15pm yesterday, the vehicle also hit the underside of an 11ft-high canopy overhanging the pumps. Although he was taken to hospital, a police spokeswoman today said the driver escaped with cuts and bruises and went home late last night.

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Mr Hoyle said: "I saw the vehicle coming at speed. It had already been hit by then. We had one vehicle on the forecourt coming down by the back entrance. "The lorry started to come in and overturned. Its rear end had come round 180 degrees, then it rolled and hit the pump."

Mr Hoyle, who was working at the garage, said he immediately turned off the petrol pumps from inside the shop and called the emergency services as the lorry lay about 15ft-20ft from the shop.

It is believed the drama was captured on CCTV and police were today expected to be trawling through the film to determine the exact cause of the crash.

Mr Newbury, 63, said: "It looked like the DHL lorry was slowing down to come in here. The other lorry collided with it right on the corner. Part of it (the DHL lorry) hit the top of the canopy and wiped out two pumps. I could see it coming this way. You didn't have time to think about it. It happened so quickly. Afterwards I felt a bit shaken up.

"The only thing I was worried about was the poor bugger in the cab.

"It was just chaos for a while. I just went to see what I could do, but everything was mangled. There was not a lot we could do. We couldn't get to him. We put sand down to try and stop any spillage of petrol and when the fire brigade arrived they put foam down."

Two police officers, who were only yards away from the garage when the crash happened, were the first emergency service personnel on the scene.

Shortly after around 20 firefighters from Ipswich and Hadleigh arrived to ensure any fuel leaks were contained and help to free the trapped driver.

Assistant divisional officer Karl Rolfe, the incident commander, said: "On arrival the DHL lorry was up against the pumps, fuel was leaking and the driver trapped.

"He was trapped in the cab by his leg, so we had to gain access to the area with hydraulic rescue equipment and spreaders to make space to get to his leg. He was conscious and appeared to have got away fairly lightly considering."

Sergeant John Hawkes, of Suffolk police traffic unit, said: "It was extremely lucky that no-one was filling up at those pumps as nothing was going to survive that impact."

The driver of the other vehicle, a Great Blakenham-based Paul Magnus lorry, was uninjured although the company's general manager John Stringer described him as 'shaken up'.

Mr Stringer said: "If you look at the state of the vehicle it could have been a lot worse."

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