Trucker tells of A14 wrong way near miss

A TRUCK driver today told how he feared for his life when he was confronted with the headlights of a car travelling the WRONG way down the A14.Police are today investigating how a motorist, believed to be an elderly woman, drove for nearly ten miles toward Ipswich in the Bury St Edmunds-bound carriageway, narrowly missing oncoming vehicles.

A TRUCK driver today told how he feared for his life when he was confronted with the headlights of a car travelling the WRONG way down the A14.

Police are today investigating how a motorist, believed to be an elderly woman, drove for nearly ten miles toward Ipswich in the Bury St Edmunds-bound carriageway, narrowly missing oncoming vehicles.

Officers had been forced into a dramatic race to stop the woman after frightened motorists made desperate 999 calls and some drivers even tried to avert a disaster by driving alongside the Ford Fiesta - albeit in the correct carriageway - sounding their horns and flashing their lights.

Kevin Smith, a veteran trucker who was driving toward Bury St Edmunds, said: “She seemed to be aware she was in the wrong place. She was trying to warn people by flashing her lights.

“The first thing I saw was some cars coming in the other direction on the other carriageway and they were flashing their lights vigorously.

“Then suddenly these headlights appeared in front of me. I was shocked.”

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The drama unfolded a short time before midnight on Wednesday when police received reports a vehicle was on the wrong carriageway just past Bury St Edmunds and heading towards Ipswich.

The first call was received at 11.48pm and by the time police stopped the woman - at midnight - she had reach Haughley Bends.

It is not yet clear why she was in the wrong carriageway or where she got on to the A14.

Amazingly the woman's car was not hit by oncoming traffic and after being talked to by officers she was taken home.

A Suffolk police spokeswoman said: “The vehicle was stopped and the driver was going to be seen next week with regard to any offence. The lady was taken back to her home address and arrangements were made to see her next week.”

Mr Smith, who lives in Bury and has been driving trucks for 16 years, was left stunned by the woman's near miss with his 45-tonne articulated lorry.

He said: “It happened so quickly. I was in a bit of a daze. I couldn't believe what I had just seen.

“She was driving in the outside lane and I was in the inside lane. I immediately started slowing down and I started flashing my lights.

“I called the police and asked them if they were aware and they said they were on their way.”

Did you see this incident? Were you one of the drivers who tried to stop the car? Has this happened to you on another occasion? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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