Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Backing for trailer campaign

7th August 2008

Backing for trailer campaign

There is just a week left to sign a petition started after the death of a four-year-old boy in Heage.

Finlay Martin was killed when a trailer being towed by a car came off in Old Road.

He had been walking with his mum, Zoe, to pick his sister, Millie, up from the village primary school when the accident happened.

The trailer was later found to have defective breaks and no breakaway cable fitted – a device that should have stopped it from moving once it broke away.

After the incident Juliette Blake, borough councillor for Heage and Ambergate, started an online petition to the Prime Minister to make sure all trailers undergo MoTs and are fitted with the cables.

It currently has 1,284 names and a poll on the Belper News website asking whether MoTs should be introduced for trailers saw 96 per cent of readers vote for yes.

Cllr Blake said: "I am over the moon that the votes cast in the Belper News indicate an overwhelming support for the trailer safety MoT campaign.

"I intend to report the results to the government to strengthen our case for this much-needed common sense legislation."

To sign the petition click here.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Runaway cement mixer causes smash

Runaway cement mixer causes smash

A pregnant woman, an elderly couple and three netball players escaped serious injury when a runaway cement mixer skidded across a busy road causing mayhem.

The machinery flew off the back of a trailer, which had been approaching the A420 from the Bampton direction near Buckland, and collided with a car on Wednesday night.

A blue Land Rover seen pulling the trailer failed to stop at the scene.

Last night police confirmed they were hunting the driver and issued an appeal for witnesses.

Miraculously, no one suffered serious injuries in the smash on the busy Oxford to Swindon road.

Marlene Snow, 65, from Bampton, was driving along the A420 with friends Andrea Wellington, from Faringdon, and Katie Clarke, from Carswell Marsh, when the mixer smashed into the front of her Nissan X-Trail.

The friends, who are all members of Shrivenham Netball Club, were travelling to a match in Banbury.

Mrs Snow said she was no more than 20 metres from the junction when she spotted the mixer.

She said: "It flew like a bobsleigh. It clipped the front of the car and pulled me towards the middle of the road where vehicles were ready to turn to Bampton.

"I tried to pull back to the correct side of the road, but I hit an elderly couple's car.

"I didn't know at the time it was a cement mixer, I just saw an orange rusty shape hurtling across the road.

"It could have been so much worse. If it had hit the side of my car, it would have probably killed my friend."

The mixer came to rest in front of a blue VW Golf driven by heavily pregnant woman Victoria Pattison.

Ms Wellington, who suffered whiplash, was forced to take the day off work yesterday.

She said: "I was in the back. I saw the mixer coming at such a speed - it was really going fast. I closed my eyes. I knew we were going to hit something.

The Nissan struck a Toyota Yaris driven by pensioner Harry Benford, 82, from Kennington, who was taking wife Eunice out for dinner to celebrate her 82nd birthday.

He said: "Sparks flew and a mixer came careering across the road - my wife was left very shaken."

Ms Pattison, from Watchfield, said she felt lucky not to have been hit by the mixer.

She urged police to track down the driver of the Land Rover who failed to stop.

She said: "I was fine - I was more worried about the elderly couple.

"I can't believe the driver failed to stop."

Call police on 08458 505050 or 0800 555111.

6:13am Friday 13th June 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Rogue trailer in street rampage

WebMaster Note:

We were able find this in our research.

Mrs. Juliette Blake was able to find in her research.

  • Published Date: 07 August 2003

  • Location: Ripley & Heanor

Rogue trailer in street rampage

The accident scene in Heanor on Sunday. Photograph by Jason Hicking.
The accident scene in Heanor on Sunday. Photograph by Jason Hicking.

A TRAILER broke free from a tractor and hurtled 200 yards down a steep Heanor street.
The trailer, which was laden with bales of hay, uprooted a lamp post as it raced down Mansfield Road and two cars collided in an attempt to avoid it.
The cars were badly damaged in the accident, but the occupants - who are thought to have included a family - escaped uninjured.
The runaway trailer eventually came to a standstill when it crashed into a wall near to Watson Avenue.
The accident happened as the tractor was travelling up the road, towards to Market Place, at 5.20pm on Sunday.
Mansfield Road was closed at both ends for five hours while the debris was cleared away.
A spokesperson for Derbyshire Police said: "The trailer just broke away and hurtled down the hill. We're still investigating what actually happened."
Jason Hicking, of Heanor was visiting family in the area when the accident happened. He said: "I think a family were in one of the cars involved and it looked very serious. But then we heard that no-one had been injured, which seemed incredible.
"The trailer took a lamp post with it as it travelled about 200 yards down the hill.
"It made a real mess - there was just hay everywhere."



An articulated lorry was badly damaged when it was hit by a trailer that had come loose from a car today.

The collision happened at about 1.40pm in Nottingham Road, Alfreton today.

The trailer was being towed by a 4x4 vehicle and, after breaking free, became trapped underneath the Mercedes lorry.

The driver of the 4x4 did not stop and was last seen being driven in the direction of Selston.

Recovery crews were called to free the trailer and remove the lorry, which it is understood was being driven by a Pole.

Anyone who witnessed the incident should call police on 0845 123 3333

Monday, February 18, 2008

Driver crippled in freak accident

Driver crippled in freak accident

A LORRY driver crippled when a freak runaway trailer collided head-on with his cab near Howden told a jury of the moment he thought he was going to die.

Father-of-three Clive Wade (44), said he could see he was on a collision course when a trailer owned by Hutton Cranswick licensee Clive Tomlinson appeared in front of his milk wagon.

Mr Wade of Holme-upon-Spalding Moor had to be airlifted from the horrific smash on the A614 on Thorpe Road, near Hygena. He suffered serious injuries including several broken bones to his legs. He needed surgery at Hull Royal Infirmary after the smash and now is unable to work and walks only with crutches.

He had been returning from Bristol to the village with an empty wagon after delivering condensed milk when the crash happened. His cab was hit by a breakaway trailer loaded with a mobile bar and marquee.

Giving evidence in a written statement at the start of a trial at Hull Crown Court Mr Wade said: "I could see I was on a collision course. The trailer was hurtling out of control towards me. I took hold of the steering wheel as hard as a could as the only place to go was to the left. I didn't try and turn too fast as the vehicle could have jack-knifed. I thought I was going to be killed. I heard a loud crunch."

Mr Wade, formerly of Wilson Close, Market Weighton, sat in court with his family as the statement was read. The court heard he still had two 13-year-old twins to support and had worked for the same dairy firm in for 21 years.

The driver of the Iveco van, Simon Saxby (46), pleaded guilty to driving a van dangerously on September 21, 2006.

Mr Saxby of Past Heap Farm, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells, told the jury he had had begun work for Mr Tomlinson in May, 2006 in the bar tent business and had no experience of towing a trailer or instruction "whatsoever".

He had been due to set up a bar and tent in a marquee in Derbyshire on the day as part of a nationwide mobile bar business. The court heard the firm had seven vans and four trailers and the drivers never knew which combination they would be taking out. He said he had been staying at the White Horse Inn at Hutton Cranswick at the time and the trailer had been loaded up for him before he set off. He said: "I didn't do my job correctly that day. I didn't do what I should have done. I am very very sorry about what happened. I had no training. I didn't know there wasn't a breakaway cable."

Crown barrister David Hall told the jury Mr Wade had done everything possible to avoid the collision and was in no way to blame. Mr Hall told the jury the accident happened when nuts and bolts sheared on the back of a tow bar, which broke away from a blue Iveco van towing a trailer. He said police had found there was wear and tear on the tow bar and lack of a breakaway cable. He said other issues to consider were a seized load sensor valve, defective hand-brake, overloading and a problem offside brake caliper. He said the tow-bar defects should have been spotted by Mr Saxby before he set off if he had been a careful and competent driver.

Clive Tomlinson (47) had denied any wrong doing. A jury was instructed to find him not guilty of the charge of aiding and abetting a van and trailer to be driven dangerously on the third day of a scheduled four-day trial. He was not in the van and denied knowing it was a danger.

Mr Saxby is due to be sentenced in around four weeks time and was allowed to walk free from court on bail.

Published on 14th February 2008 in News.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Bus stop woman hit by runaway trailer

Bus stop woman hit by runaway trailer

From the Bolton Evening News, first published Saturday 29th Jun 1996.

A RUNAWAY trailer ploughed into a woman standing at a bus stop in a freak hit-and-run accident which left her fighting for her life.

The trailer broke free from a car travelling down the East Lancs Road in Swinton and careered onto the pavement before hitting mother of four Mrs

Maria Young, aged 41, of Sportside Avenue, Walkden.

Police said she had been waiting for a bus at the side of the busy main road.

Detectives are now hunting the driver of the car who did not stop after the accident and are appealing for witnesses.

The accident happened yesterday at 3.40pm on the East Lancs Road, close to its junction with Eccles Road.

The vehicle was travelling west bound down the carriageway when the trailer became detached.

Mrs Young was rushed to Hope Hospital with serious injuries. This morning she was described as "critical" in the intensive care unit.

Any witnesses able to help trace the vehicle - believed to be a "small, possibly light blue car" - are asked to contact PC Gerrard at Salford Traffic Unit on 0161 856 5078.

Mrs Young has three daughters, aged 20, 18, and 11, a 13 year old son, and two grandchildren

She had been to visit her eldest daughter in Swinton and was waiting for the bus to take her home when the accident happened.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.

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From the Bolton Evening News
© Newsquest Media Group 1996

Motorist hurt by runaway trailer

Motorist hurt by runaway trailer

From the The Argus, first published Friday 20th Oct 2006.

A motorist was left battered and bruised after a runaway trailer ploughed into her car.

Dawn Barnett, 65, was driving from her home in Hangleton to the nearby Sainsbury's when the trailer became unattached from a car travelling in the opposite direction and ploughed head-on into the driver's side of her Hyundai.

Mrs Barnett, a Brighton and Hove city councillor, dived for cover but still suffered major bruising, a deep cut to her knee and shock.

The driver of the car towing the one-ton trailer did not stop and police are now trying to trace its owner.

Mrs Barnett said: "As far as the other driver knew, I may have been dead. They wouldn't have known if it had hit a car, a pedestrian or ploughed into a house.

"The first I knew about it was this big blue thing was looming up in front of me and coming right at me.

"I wasn't paying particular notice to the other side of the road or what was happening over there but all of a sudden this big trailer comes on to my side of the road.

"I had the presence of mind to dive into the passenger seat because you can see it hit right by the driver's door.

"The next thing was a huge bang as the trailer hit and the car jolted to a halt. I just shut my eyes and hoped for the best.

"I was completely dazed and luckily there were plenty of people around who helped me and called an ambulance."

Mrs Barnett was taken to hospital after the accident, at 12.40pm on Wednesday in Hangleton Lane, and a resident from nearby Poplar Close gathered her belongings from the car and later returned them.

But she has been left shaken by the ordeal and is determined to trace the driver of the car.

Friends have been trawling local builders' yards to see if the trailer belongs to them but so far to no avail.

Mrs Barnett did not see the car the trailer had been attached to but believes it must be someone who either lives or works in the Hangleton area.

The trailer was full of sand and Mrs Barnett believes its owner was probably being employed by someone in the local area.

She said: "Someone has either now got to pay out for a whole trailer load of sand again or has not got the job done that they wanted.

"That should set some alarm bells ringing and I'd hope anyone who knows anything about it would come forward because this could have easily killed me or someone else.

"Imagine if the trailer hit a pedestrian or a child. They would be dead now.

"The worst thing is they must have known the trailer came unattached so why didn't they stop?

"The driver should have turned around immediately to see what had happened but they obviously didn't.

"They obviously were either too scared to face the music or too worried about what would happen to them."

Anyone who recognises the trailer or who has information about the incident is asked to call Sussex Police on 0845 6070999.

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From the The Argus
© Newsquest Media Group 2006

Police name trailer death crash woman

Police name trailer death crash woman

THE married mother-of-three tragically killed by a runaway trailer in Bere Regis on May 18 has been named.

Sarah Damen, 37, from Bere Regis, had just dropped her daughter off at Bere Regis First School and was walking home along the pavement when she was hit.

The trailer had broken free from a red Landrover that was towing it.

Police said Mrs Damen's husband Mark, 44, and their three children - Emily, five, Mary, four, and David, two - were being comforted by relatives. The three-year-old girl involved in the collision has been named as Rebekah Gee, from Bere Regis.

Rebekah was said to be making good progress in Dorset County Hospital, while her mum Suzanne was still recovering from shock after the incident.

Insp John Mallace, of Dorset Police's road policing unit, said: "This is a tragic road traffic collision and my thoughts go out to all those involved in it.

"In particular, I wish Rebekah a speedy recovery and send my condolences to the family of Mrs Damen.

"A professional investigation is taking place and police family liaison officers are keeping the victims regularly updated as to the progress of the enquiry."

Bere Regis First School have also offered their sympathies to the Damen family.

Head teacher Steve Battishill said: "Everyone at the school is shocked and saddened by this tragic event.

"Our thoughts and deepest sympathy are with the family and all involved in this terrible accident."

The group had been walking along the C6 Bere Regis to Wool road at Southbrook when the tragedy unfolded just after 9am.

A man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, but was bailed pending the findings of the police investigation.

7:00pm Tuesday 22nd May 2007

4x4 trailer kills school run mum

4x4 trailer kills school run mum

A MUM was crushed to death by a runaway trailer ? minutes after dropping her daughter off at school.

Sarah Damen, 37, had just waved off the five-year-old when the trailer loaded with wood broke free from a Land Rover and hit the pavement.

It overturned on to the mum of three, trapping her. Firecrews in Bere Regis, Dorset, used air bags to lift the trailer but paramedics could not save Sarah.

A woman and a child were also injured, but are stable in hospital. Police have arrested the 44-year-old Land Rover driver.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Trailer crash victim describes impact

Trailer crash victim describes impact

A driver today described the aftermath of a crash in which a trailer came loose and smashed into his car, killing his elderly mother-in-law.

Paul Llewellyn was driving Elizabeth Roberts to his home in Peterstone, south Wales, when a trailer became detached from the Land Rover of Timothy Rose, and was in collision with their Vauxhall Corsa.

Mrs Roberts, 84, died at the scene.

Rose, 49, of Elizabeth Avenue, Barry, south Wales, denies causing death by dangerous driving.

Hywel Hughes, prosecuting, told Cardiff Crown Court that Mr Llewellyn picked up his mother-in-law at 4pm on March 9 last year and they went to collect his wife at 4.30pm.

Describing the aftermath of the incident, Mr Llewellyn said: “I was pretty stunned. I looked at Bet (Elizabeth Roberts) next to me. She was sat upright and I thought she was okay.

“I turned around and my wife seemed unconscious. I started shouting to her and she sat up and said ’what’s happened?’

“Then, after the second impact my wife was sat up but when I looked at Bet she was slumped down. Then they dragged me out of the side window.”

Peter Davies, defending, read a statement by Mr Llewellyn from April 11, 2007.

In it, Mr Llewellyn said: “I saw the trailer coming down the hill. It wobbled but I didn’t worry too much about it or brake.

“When we collided it felt like we went up in the air. The impact was so bad I thought my brain had come out of my head.”

The court heard from Police Constable Simon Rogers, the accident investigator at the scene, who concluded that the safety chain on the trailer had snapped.

Judge Patrick Curran QC adjourned the trial until tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Woman, 85, 'killed by dangerous trailer

Woman, 85, 'killed by dangerous trailer'

An elderly woman died when a trailer came loose and hit the car she was in, a court heard today.

Timothy Rose, 49, was towing the trailer on his Land Rover down a hill when it became detached and swung into the road, where it collided with a Vauxhall Corsa travelling uphill.

Elizabeth Roberts, 85, was the nearside passenger in the car driven by her son-in-law Paul Llewellyn, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

Hywel Hughes, prosecuting, said: “Glass was flying everywhere, there were scenes of chaos and confusion after the impact. It became clear Mrs Roberts was injured very seriously.

“She died at the scene despite valiant efforts by paramedics and a doctor.”

Mr Hughes said the trailer was in a bad condition – on three of its four wheels the brakes were defective. He said the ball fitting on the Land Rover and socket fitting on the trailer were different sizes.

Rose, of Elizabeth Avenue, Barry, pleaded not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at a previous hearing, also at Cardiff Crown Court.

In a statement read out in court, he said: “The trailer started to fishtail. As I looked back in horror, I saw the trailer, instead of being behind me it was beside me but there was nothing I could do.”

The court heard Rose had a routine check ’“once in a while” and did the maintenance himself.

Hayley Griffiths was driving behind Rose at the time of the incident on Pentyrch Hill in Cardiff on March 9 last year.

She said: “At the top of the hill I noticed the trailer started to bounce from side to side.

“I wanted to get away from the trailer so I tried to slow down.”

She said she did not see any brake lights come on on the trailer.

Clacton: Woman hurt in runaway trailer crash

Clacton: Woman hurt in runaway trailer crash
By James Dwan

A woman was taken to hospital after a runaway trailer was in a collision with a car on a busy road.

The passenger in the four-wheel-drive Suzuki Wagon suffered injuries to her neck and back, as well as breathing problems, after it was in a collision with the trailer of an Iveco van in Clacton.

Police, ambulance crews and firefighters were called to the accident in London Road.

The street was closed for more than 45 minutes amid fears that cylinders in the van, being used by road resurfacers, could explode.

A spokesman for Clacton fire station said the woman passenger, in her mid-50s, suffered slight injuries to her chest from the seatbelt.

The spokesman believed the trailer had become unhooked from the van and veered into the path of the oncoming vehicle.

Anyone with information about the incident, at 11.40am yesterday, should call PC Darren Lee at Stanway road policing unit on 01206 762512.

1:10pm Tuesday 5th February 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008

Passer-by killed by trailer’s swinging side panel in Wrexham

Passer-by killed by trailer’s swinging side panel in Wrexham

A MOTORIST whose trailer hit and fatally injured a pedestrian yesterday went on trial for causing death by dangerous driving.

Mold Crown Court heard how a man was struck by the side panel of the trailer which swung open as it was being towed on Wrexham industrial estate.

Victim Damon Harry Palmer was thrown up into the air by the impact.

Mr Palmer, 57, from Stoke-on-Trent, a team leader with an insulation company, had driven to the industrial estate for a training day.

He had just arrived but as he parked his car in Abbey Road and got out, he was struck by the side panel of the twin axle Ivor Williams trailer being towed by a Chrysler Voyager driven by OIiver.

The accident left him with “serious and unsurvivable head injuries” in a pool of blood and he died a short time later in hospital.

Driver Rupert Oliver, 66, an inventor and former Wrexham businessman, now of The Residence at Kenchester near Hereford, denies causing death by dangerous driving.

Prosecuting barrister Simon Medland told a jury at Mold Crown Court that the side mesh panel of the trailer opened up like a substantial door.

The defendant was oblivious to the opening and closing of the panel on the trailer behind him, pulled out to overtake, and the panel came into contact with Mr Palmer’s head “causing appalling injuries.”

He was spun into the air, dropped to the road unconscious, and died half an hour later in hospital despite efforts to save him.

Mr Medland told the jury that there was no criticism of the defendant’s actual driving, but he was driving a dangerous vehicle – a trailer which had a substantial panel flapping about.

It was the prosecution case that the trailer should have been properly checked before the journey began a short time earlier, or at least he should have seen the side-panel flapping about before the fatal collision occurred.

As well as hitting Mr Palmer, the side panel rode up his blue Rover car, shunting it forward, and causing a passenger in the car to suffer a head injury.

Oliver claimed that he checked the trailer about two hours before he drove from his former company, SPI, on the Spectrum Industrial Estate.

An inventor who has spent a lifetime designing children’s play equipment, had been removing his experimental children’s play kit from a yard in Denbigh which was being closed down.

The previous night he took a load from Denbigh to SPI to store the items there. He left the vehicle and trailer overnight.

The following morning he had driven just half a mile intending to return to Denbigh when the accident occurred.

In a police interview, he said it was the most horrible thing that had ever happened to him, and he felt awful.

He said that he had driven for 50 years, was experienced in towing trailers, and always checked everything.

Forensic vehicle examiner Gary Roberts said in his view the two spring pins on the front edge of the side panel were not in place.

Defending barrister Stuart Driver said it was accepted that the bottom pin was not in place but suggested that the top one was, but that it was not properly secured by the spring.

The trial before Judge John Rogers QC is proceeding.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Caravan ploughs into new vehicle

Caravan ploughs into new vehicle

A RUNAWAY caravan collided with a parked car in an early-hours accident.

The caravan broke free and rolled into a nearly-new Toyota Yaris in Craven Street, Barnoldswick, on Saturday.

Police said they did not believe the incident to be a prank or act of sabotage and that the caravan appeared to have come loose from the rear of a car, but the accident could leave the damaged car's owners with a big repair bill as the owner of the caravan has not been traced.

The matter has now been referred to Pendle Council, which will remove the caravan if it is causing a nuisance for residents, but police asked anyone who could identify the caravan's owner to come forward.

11:08am Thursday 11th January 2007

Woman's face smashed in loose trailer horror

Woman's face smashed in loose trailer horror

From the Bolton Evening News, first published Monday 27th Jul 1998.

SURGEONS spent five hours rebuilding a young woman's jaw yesterday after it was smashed by a runaway trailer. Suzanne Middlefell's face was badly cut and her jaw bone broken in two places when a box trailer broke free from the car towing it in Market Street, Little Lever on Saturday evening and mounted the pavement. Suzanne, 22, of Heaton Avenue, Little Lever had been on her way to visit an ill friend and was walking along the pavement when the accident happened.

Her parents, Eileen and David, knew nothing about the accident until they returned home last night from a weekend break to celebrate Eileen's birthday.

Suzanne, a telephone customer services operator, had been taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital and then transferred to Blackburn Royal Infirmary for surgery and they hurried to her bedside.

Mr Middlefell said: "The trailer hit her from behind so she doesn't know what happened. She said she thought she was going to die and she could have been killed."

Her mum added: "She certainly had her guardian angel looking after her."

Despite her injuries, her parents say Suzanne, who is a youth leader at St Andrew's Church, Radcliffe, is in remarkably good spirits.

Suzanne's parents also want to thank a man who rushed to help her immediately after the accident at 8.15pm on Saturday night and kept her calm until help arrived.

Police are investigating how the trailer, pulled by a Cavalier driven by Anthony Barnes, aged 31, of Grange Avenue, Little Lever, came to break free.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.

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From the Bolton Evening News
© Newsquest Media Group 1998


ACTION PLAN FOR DANGER ROUTE; 68 collisions in two years prompt safety measures.(News)

Byline: By Michael Corley

ONE of Warwickshire's most dangerous roads is to undergo a raft of safety improvements in an effort to cut casualties.

Road safety chiefs have targeted the A428 Hillmorton Road in Rugby - the scene of 68 collisions from 2004 to 2006 - which ranks high in the county council's league of most dangerous roads.

They have already started similar action in Myton Road, which links Warwick and Leamington.

The speed limit in Myton Road - which is lined with schools, houses and the entrance to a park - has been slashed from 40mph to 30mph.

Pedestrian refuges have been installed in the centre of the road and vehicle-activated speed signs are due to be installed in September.

Myton Road, like Hillmorton Road, has a poor accident record - there have been 16 accidents in the past three years, resulting in 18 casualties on the busy school run and commuter route.

In one of the most recent in June, a motorcyclist broke both wrists and a knee after colliding with a trailer which came loose from a van.

The new limit has been introduced from the junction with Banbury Road to the Ford Foundry roundabout in Leamington.

Cllr Marion Haywood, who represents Warwick South on Warwickshire County Council, said she hoped the work in Myton Road would reduce the number of accidents.

She said: "I am very pleased to see that the road safety engineering team have investigated the road.

"As there are a number of schools on this road it seems very appropriate to have a 30mph speed limit."

Senior road safety engineer Jo Edwards said the latest action was taken in the road after it was identified as a risk to motorists and pedestrians by Warwickshire County Council's road safety engineering team.

Road chiefs have said the improvements for Hillmorton Road will take place next year, after a public consultation has taken place.

They are due to be completed by April.


MR030807ROAD2 SLOW DOWN... Warwickshire County Council's senior road safety engineer Jo Edwards and Cllr Martin Heatley, cabinet member for environment, in Myton Road, Warwick, where the speed limit has been slashed from 40mph to 30mph in an effort to reduce accidents. Picture: Mark Radford

Runaway trailer death woman named

Runaway trailer death woman named
Police have identified a woman who was killed when a trailer separated from a vehicle and hit a group of people.

Sarah Damen, 37, was walking on the pavement in Bere Regis in Dorset on Friday when the crash happened.

Mrs Damen, a mother of three young children aged five, four and two, died at the scene.

Another woman, Suzanne Gee, and her daughter, Rebekah, three, are recovering from their injuries. The driver was arrested and bailed.

The 44-year-old man, from Wareham, had been arrested in suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

A red Land Rover had been travelling along the C6 Southbrook road to Wool in the village when its trailer detached, ploughing into the group.

Mrs Damen's children and her 44-year-old husband, Mark, have been comforted by relatives.

Monday, January 7, 2008

BOY OF 5 CRUSHED BY RUNAWAY SPEEDBOAT; Horror at the harbourside.(

BOY OF 5 CRUSHED BY RUNAWAY SPEEDBOAT; Horror at the harbourside.(News)


A BOY of five has been crushed to death by a speedboat.

Piran Osborne was sitting on the edge of a harbour ramp when a 15ft craft being towed up it broke free and crashed back into him.

By the time yachtsmen hauled the boat off him he was already dead.

Piran's eight-year-old brother, who was sitting with him on the slipway, was slightly injured.

Sailor Sian Brown was alerted by shrieks from the boys' mother.

Sian, 61, said yesterday: "We saw people already running to the slipway. You could tell it was serious.

"It was the mother screaming - it was dreadful to hear. Then people stopped and it went quiet. Nobody was running to the boats to get help.

"That's when it became apparent there was nothing anybody could do.

"I saw a young man and an old man sobbing. It's the most terrible tragedy."

The boys, from St Newlyn East, Cornwall, had their legs dangling over the side of the slipway when the boat, mounted on a trailer, hit them.

One yachtsman who saw the tragedy in Mylor, Cornwall, said: "The trailer

came away from the towing vehicle and careered down the slipway. It ploughed straight into him and knocked him off the slipway.

"We simply couldn't believe what we were seeing."

Steve Nicholls of Mylor Yacht Club told how one witness raced in to raise the alarm on Sunday evening.

He said: "This chap came in screaming for a doctor and said there had been a serious accident." Yachtsmen with first aid training then raced to help.

Steve added: "They found the child under a speedboat. When they got it off him he was very seriously injured. There was nothing they could do."

Fisherman Frank Vinnicombe, 81, claimed locals had been worried about the slipway because the public could use it unsupervised.

And he revealed: "Eight weeks ago I saw exactly the same thing, although that time no-one was hurt."

Police and health and safety chiefs are investigating.

Harbour owner Roger Graffy declined to comment.


Girls hit by trailer.(News)

Girls hit by trailer.(News)

TWO teenage girls were recovering in hospital last night after they were hit by a runaway council trailer on their way home from school.

The 14 year-olds had been walking to a friend's house when they were hit by a county council mobile display unit.

The trailer became detached from a Ford Transit van which was towing it, veered across a pavement and rolled down a grass verge before trapping the pair beneath it.

One girl was released before emergency services arrived in Lane Green Road, Codsall, after the accident at 3.40pm on Friday.

The second teenager suffered head, leg and arm injuries and was taken to New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, by helicopter. Her friend suffered minor head injuries.

Last night Staffordshire Police said both girls were recovering in hospital and neither had suffered life-threatening injuries.

Girls trapped by trailer.(News)

Girls trapped by trailer.(News)


TWO teenage girls were recovering in hospital today after becoming trapped under a runaway trailer on their way home from school.

The pair were walking to a friend's house just outside Wolverhampton when they were hit by a mobile display unit being towed by a Ford Transit van.

The trailer became detached, veered across the pavement and rolled across a grass verge, pinning the two 14-yearolds underneath.

One girl was released before emergency services arrived, following the accident in Lane Green Road, Codsall, South Staffordshire, at 3.40pm yesterday.

The second remained trapped and police officers and fire crews worked to lift the trailer and dig out earth from around her so paramedics could get in to help. She was taken by helicopter to New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, with head, leg and arm injuries.

Her friend had head injuries.

Staffordshire Police said none of the injuries was thought to be serious or life-threatening.

Teenager died as he tried to stop runaway lorry

Teenager died as he tried to stop runaway lorry.(News)

A teenager was crushed to death as he tried to stop a runaway lorry.

Justin Bevan, 17, was helping his elder brother unload a trailer when the lorry started to roll down a steep hill.

Justin ran alongside the lorry trying to get into the cab - but was crushed as it collided with another lorry parked at the roadside.

An inquest heard yesterday that defective brakes on the lorry meant it was a 'ticking bomb'. Its trailer had no brakes at all.

The lorry had been borrowed by construction worker Simon Bevan to move a digger.

Department of Transport vehicle examiner Christopher Ennea said, 'The vehicle was unroadworthy and its brakes were below the minimum requirement. It resulted in the vehicle and trailer combination becoming dangerous when parked on any slope.'

PC Christopher Goddard, the police forensic collision investigator, said, 'The vehicle was a ticking bomb. The only working brake was the handbrake on the rear axle of the lorry.'

The seven-and-a-half-ton Ford jackknifed, rolling for more than 120ft in Hollybush, near Blackwood, Gwent.

The inquest, in Newport, heard that Justin's elder brother Simon borrowed the trailer to carry a digger to make trenches. But he had no formal training in how to unload the JCB.

Justin's father Howard told the inquest the lorry started to roll downhill as they moved the digger.

He said, 'Simon had got into the digger and started the engine to drive it off the trailer.

'That's when the lorry, trailer and the digger started to go down the hill. I didn't see the accident but Justin was running alongside the lorry. I believe he was trying to get into the cab to stop it travelling further down the hill.'

Mr Bevan, of Argoed, Gwent, said Justin started walking back up the hill holding his stomach but then fell to the floor. He was taken to Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny but died from internal bleeding.

Gwent coroner David Bowen recorded a verdict of accident.

He said, 'There is no evidence Simon knew the brakes on the lorry were defective but he should have known the trailer had no brakes at all.

'Even if not, it would be a basic safety measure to unload the JCB on a level surface or chock the wheels. Any one of these measures would have prevented this tragic and unnecessary death. '



A YOUNG girl watched in horror yesterday as her mother was killed by a runaway trailer.

Felicity Campion, 44, had said goodbye to her eldest daughter Dorothy, 15, when she was killed.

The teenager had just boarded the Grampian Regional Council-run bus to take her 15 miles to Turriff Academy when she watched the tragic events unfold.

It is understood that the youngster scrambled from the bus to rush to her mother's aid - but it was too late.

Mrs Campion, of Auchterless, Aberdeenshire, was fatally injured when a trailer broke free from its mounting on the back of David Forbes' 4 by 4 Toyota Hi-Lux van, and ran over the top of her.

Yesterday heartbroken David, a farm mechanic, of Turriff, said: "I do not know what happened. It is such a horrible situation. I really cannot add anything to that at this stage."

Grampian Police were yesterday investigating the cause of the incident, but believed it to be a "freak accident".

A spokesman said: "PC Christopher Wheatley was the first on the scene and it must have been terrible for him."

Yesterday Niven Shiney, who lives in the same tiny village as the tragic family, said: "Felicity's death has come as a blow to the whole village.

"She was one of the most delightful people anyone could ever meet. It is an absolutely devastating thing to happen. "

Mrs Campion is survived by her husband, who works offshore, daughter Dorothy and two younger children Jennifer and Stephen, who attend Auchterless Primary School.

Headmaster Raymond Morton said yesterday: "The whole school is in a state of shock. We feel the loss for the whole family"

Amazing escapes in runaway trailer drama

Amazing escapes in runaway trailer drama

A Young family yesterday had a "miraculous" escape when a runaway trailer crashed into their car before punching a hole in a factory wall in Dundee just feet from where staff were working.

The trailer, loaded with steel beams, ploughed into DC Thomson's building in Guthrie Street.

Staff in the book-binding department narrowly escaped as the 30ft trailer crashed through a wall.

One man jumped out of the way as it came through the glass and brick wall about 15ft from where he was standing, showering the shopfloor with debris at around 9am.

Ralph Crichton said: "I just heard this tremendous crash and turned round to see the trailer bursting through the wall. There were bricks and masonry everywhere, and a huge cloud of dust.

"I stood for a couple of seconds staring at it in disbelief and then jumped over the machine I was working at to get out of the way.

"There's another lad who works beside me but he had gone to the toilet. Fortunately, the trailer crashed through the wall between two machines. Having said that, there's also a desk where the trailer came through, and if anyone had been sitting at it they would have been badly injured or even killed."

The flat-bed trailer, which was not attached to a cab, caught a Fiat Punto a glancing blow. That appeared to have diverted it away from where Mr Crichton was.

The trailer had been parked in Horsewater Wynd, near to its junction with Guthrie Street. Shortly before the accident most of its steel beams had been offloaded at a nearby construction site.

As it crashed through the wall, the trailer just missed a load- bearing pillar. Workers said a direct hit on the pillar might have caused part of the floor above to collapse.

The young family in the Fiat escaped without injury but they were badly shaken.

Police said the trailer appeared to have suffered some sort of brake failure.

The city engineer declared the building structurally safe. The Health and Safety Executive was also notified.

A Tayside Police spokes-man said: "Miraculously, the occupants of the Fiat Punto, two adults and a child, escaped uninjured. Similarly, no members of staff at DC Thomson were injured."

Tractor driver 'knew of danger' COURT:

Tractor driver 'knew of danger' COURT: Jury hears how Milford Haven port manager killed after runaway trailer hit his car.(News)


THE former manager of the port where the Sea Empress disaster unfolded bled to death after a runaway trailer hit his car, a court heard.

The runaway trailer broke free from farmer Keith Knight's tractor and smashed into Mike Hislop's green Honda Coupe as he travelled to a cemetery.

At Swansea Crown Court, 46-yearold Knight of Castle Pill Farm, Steynton, Milford Haven, denied causing Mr Hislop's death by dangerous driving. Geraint Walters, prosecuting, has told the court that Knight knew the tow bar bolt in his tractor was dangerous but had taken a chance by using it.

He told the jury members, "The danger would have been obvious to you, me and the defendant, he took a gamble and, as a result, the life of Mr Hislop who was manager of Milford Haven Port Authority.

"Mr Knight had set off on his journey with a complete, utter disregard for safety, this was an accident waiting to happen."

Knight told police after the accident that the state of the road was to blame. He said he had earlier complained to the local authority about poor maintenance though no record of the complaint could be traced.

Opening the prosecution case, Mr Walters said speed did not play a part in the tragedy and the crown did not complain about the manner of Knight's driving. But, said Mr Walters, the defendant seemed "oblivious" to the risk he was taking in attaching the trailer in a dangerous manner.

Knight watched in horror as the trailer separated from his tractor, wandered to the right then overtook him as he descended a hill.

Shortly before, Mr Hislop had picked up a friend, Liz Collins, bound for a weekend in London.

He had given her a bunch of flowers a few days before and she wanted to place them on her parents' grave at Thornton Road Cemetery, Milford Haven, before setting off.

As they approached the entrance to the cemetery they were confronted by a road completely blocked by the approaching trailer on one carriageway and the tractor on the other. Mr Hislop, at the wheel of his Honda, tried to swerve left up an embankment but a corner of the trailer crashed into the driver's side of the car. He suffered broken ribs and a lacerated liver and died of loss of blood before a helicopter could get him to hospital.

Mr Walters said the tow bar was fractured which allowed "excessive play" at the point of joining. In addition, he said, the fracture meant a bolt did not protrude far enough for a securing lynch pin to be fitted. He said the amount of rust inside the barrel of the bolt showed no pin had been fitted.

The effect, he said, was that the trailer bounced along the road and worked itself free. The case continues.

Witness saw trailer 'bounce'

WITNESS Kate Thomas told the court she caught up with Knight in Thornton Road while driving her parents's Ford Fiesta.

Knight overtook her and Miss Thomas followed him along the road.

Shortly after, the jury heard, the trailer began to "bounce" and to sway from side to side.

After rounding a bend it separated from the tractor and Miss Thomas saw Knight looking back.

As the trailer overtook Knight's tractor he appeared to put his hand up as a "stop" sign to oncoming traffic.

After the accident she borrowed another motorist's mobile phone to call the police.


VICTIM: Mike Hislop

Accused driver did not recall 'anything unusual'

Accused driver did not recall 'anything unusual'.(News)

A LORRY driver accused of causing grievous bodily injury to a two-year-old Armagh boy in an alleged "hit and run" accident last year told Newry Crown Court yesterday that he "didn't remember anything unusual happening" on the evening of the incident.

The jury is expected to consider its verdict today after a four-day hearing.

Samuel Neville Ferguson, of Collone, Armagh, denies inflicting injuries on Mark Bradshaw, of Mullabrack, through dangerous driving on November 3 last year.

He has also pleaded not guilty to charges of failing to stop, and failing to report the accident at Armagh Road, Newtownhamilton.

The boy was in a blue Metro driven by child minder Joanne Campbell.

In court Ferguson admitted that around the time of the accident he was going to Newtownhamilton with a 40ft trailer carrying a car body shell.

He agreed it was possible the shell could have been a "bit loose" and that he was mindful of it being in the trailer.

Asked why it took him an hour to travel 12 miles, Ferguson stated he was "going easy" so as not to damage the shell.

Accused accepted his vehicle was in collision with the Metro but denied categorically that he had collided with it.

Accused rejected evidence by a prosecution witness that he had to swerve to avoid colliding with an articulated vehicle.

Reported in the Birmingham Post 1998!!!!

GM must pay pounds 22m over death of boy.

A Florida jury ruled yesterday that General Motors Corp must pay pounds 22 million in damages to a family that sued the car maker over the death of their 13-year-old son.

The Broward County Circuit Court jury awarded no punitive damages in the wrongful death suit, filed by Constance and Robert McGee, of Pembroke Pines, Florida, over the death of their son, Shane, in a car fire.

The McGee's 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass station wagon was idling at a tollbooth at a Virginia highway on July 13, 1991, when a trailer broke loose from a pickup truck Curtis Cayton was driving several lanes away and rolled under the station wagon, leading to a fire.

McGee's attorney, Mr Sheldon Schlesinger, had argued that the accident could have been prevented if GM had built the car with a simple gas tank shield.

The jury had awarded the family pounds 40 million in compensation damages, but found GM only 55 per cent responsible for the accident, and therefore liable for the pounds 22 million payment. Punitive damages could have been astronomical.

Cayton was found 45 per cent responsible. But under Florida law, if only one of two potential defendants is sued, the one brought to court is not responsible for the other's portion of fault. Cayton had previously been sued in Virginia, and his insurer s ettled that case for an undisclosed amount.

General Motors attorneys said the company planned to appeal.

The fireball that killed Shane McGee also killed his cousin, Nancy Hawthorne, and burned four other family members, including Constance and Robert McGee, Shane's sister Kelly and another cousin, Jane Renze.

Hendry escapes motorway smash; SNOOKER

Hendry escapes motorway smash; SNOOKER.(Sport)

STEPHEN HENDRY resumes his bid for a seventh Benson & Hedges Masters title tonight grateful to have the opportunity to face Ken Doherty in the last quarter-final of the pounds 615,000 event.

Hendry's Mercedes almost became involved in an accident that caused chaos for several hours on the M25.

Happily for the seven-times world champion and his driver John Carroll they were able to avoid the debris caused by a three-vehicle pile-up involving a mini-bus, a van and a loose trailer.

"It was a terrifying moment," admitted Carroll, who was driving the 31- year-old Scot back to Wembley following an engagement at a Bishop Stortford secondary school.

Hendry was shaken by the incident but returned to practice for his best of 11 frames showdown with Doherty, a repeat of their 1997 World Final meeting.

Doherty won that encounter to become Ireland's first ever World Snooker champ, but world number two Hendry is favourite to book a place in the last four and a meeting with Mark Williams or Stephen Lee.

After yesterday's upsets, including the defeat of former champion Ronnie O'Sullivan, Hendry will take nothing for granted.

But after his fortunate escape on the road maybe he feels Lady Luck is already on his side.

The penultimate quarter-final pits Williams against Lee two months after they faced each other in the quarter-finals of the China Open in Shanghai.

Lee won that encounter and Williams says he will be on his guard this afternoon.

"I suppose you could say that with Stephen reaching the finals of the last two ranking tournaments he must have the psychological edge," admitted Williams.

"But I love playing here, the Wembley Conference Centre is special.

"It's the best venue on the circuit by a long way and it makes you want to stay here as long as possible.

"I have got a good record against Stephen but that won't really count for a lot today."

Williams and Hendry are the only two players left in the competition who have won the tournament before.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Trauma of tragic girls.(News)

Byline: By Liz Hands

The family of a brave mother who died saving her children last night spoke of the trauma of having to live through the tragedy again.

Wendy Smith, 33, of Leaside, Halton Lea Gate, near Haltwhistle, Northumberland, was killed when she was hit by a runaway lorry trailer after pushing her children, Nicola, 10, and Chelcie, 4, to safety.

Yesterday, a coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death on the 1999 tragedy and said he would be seeking new laws to prevent trailers breaking away from lorries.

Ms Smith was mown down by the 3.5 tonne trailer when it broke loose from the truck pulling it.

Last night, Ms Smith's partner Richard Johnson told how the hearing had forced her family to live through her death again.

Mr Johnson attended all three days of the inquest in Carlisle, hoping it would help him and their children to move on after the tragedy.

The inquest ended with coroner David Osbourne calling for a law to be introduced to ensure trailers are better looked after.

Mr Johnson said he was unhappy with the inquest verdict and the past week had brought terrible memories flooding back for the children.

He said: "I had to leave before the end. It was just getting too upsetting. I couldn't

believe it when the verdict was accidental death. I know the coroner isn't there to give out punishments, but I am still so angry at what has happened."

Mr Johnson said he and children Nicola, now 14, and Chelcie, now eight, must now try to move on.

He said: "I would have liked this to go back to court but I realise there is nothing more I can do.

"We have no choice but to try to move on."

He added: "This inquest has knocked us all back to square one. It has taken four years since her death to get to this stage.

"We'd tried to get into a routine for the sake of the children, but now they are just as upset as they were when Wendy died.

"I've got no idea where to start telling them what happened at the inquest."

Although coroner David Osbourne called for tighter legislation to make sure a similar tragedy never happens again, Mr Johnson, a road maintenance worker, said that was not good enough.

"No one has been punished properly for what happened to Wendy. Others will just think nothing happened this time, so they won't bother checking their vehicles over either," he said.

Now living with his new partner, Pat, and her 11-year-old daughter, Mr Johnson said he and his two girls would be staying on in Halton Lea Gate.

He said: "There are some terrible memories. We have to pass the place Wendy was killed every day, but this is our home.

"Wendy was so well loved in the village and the support from all her friends has really helped us to come through this."

Village in shock as young mother dies saving her daughter

Village in shock as young mother dies saving her daughter.(News)

A mother crushed to death by a runaway trailer in front of her two daughters pushed the younger child out of danger moments before she was hit, a retired nurse who comforted the girls said yesterday.

Miss Wendy Smith, aged 33, of Leaside, Halton Lea Gate, Northumberland, was struck by the mobile toilet trailer as she walked to the village shop with her children.

She is thought to have saved four-year-old Chelcie by pushing her out of the path of the three-ton trailer.

Her other daughter Nicola, aged ten, was walking further along the pavement.

Police said the trailer somehow became uncoupled from the Atkinson lorry towing it.

It mounted the narrow pavement smashing into Miss Smith before demolishing part of a stone wall and finally coming to a halt after hitting a telegraph pole.

Miss Smith suffered serious head injuries and died later in Cumbria Infirmary, Carlisle.

The small community in the remote hamlet, situated deep in the Northumberland moors, was still in shock after the tragic incident on Tuesday afternoon.

Semi-retired nurse Mr Jim McHugh, aged 54, who rushed from his home after hearing the accident, said: "I realised that she stood no chance.

"She was in a terrible state and must have been hit hard.

"The portable toilet was on four wheels like a caravan and must have somehow come loose.

"Her eldest daughter had gone on ahead but she must have pushed the youngest one out of the way and took the full force herself.

"I didn't want the children to see their mum die on a roadside, I did all I could before the ambulance arrived, but she was in a very bad condition with severe head injuries.

"It is a tragedy. Another foot either way and it would have missed her. This is a small place and this has affected people badly.

"That a young mother who you know can be gone so quickly is hard to understand."

Mr Bob Habbick, aged 42, who lives opposite the accident scene, said: "I heard a clatter but never imagined it would result in something as awful as this.

"With only 200 to 300 people living here it is a close-knit community where you know most people by sight

"The whole village is shocked."

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "An investigation has been launched into this tragic accident and we appeal to anyone who saw the incident or the events leading up to it to contact us."

Lorry kills shop mum

Lorry kills shop mum.(News)

A MOTHER was killed by a runaway lorry-trailer as she took her children to a sweet shop.

Wendy Smith, 33, was hit head-on by the three-tonne trailer after it came loose from the lorry and careered straight at her.

Nicola, 10, and Chelcie, four, escaped because they had just turned a corner to go into the shop.

Wendy, of Halton Lea Gate, Northumberland, died in hospital shortly afterwards.

Woman fights for life.

Woman fights for life.

A woman is fighting for her life today after suffering severe head injuries in a horror road smash.

The 38-year-old victim sustained the injuries when a trailer broke loose from the car towing it and smashed into the path of her car.

Emergency services rushed to the scene of the crash in Catcote Road, near the Summerhill Centre, Hartlepool, about 5.45pm yesterday.

Firefighters had to cut the trapped woman free and she was rushed to University Hospital of Hartlepool where she is detained in the intensive care unit in a "critical but stable" condition.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: "A Vauxhall Astra driven by a 35-year-old man from Hartlepool had a trailer on the back and for some unknown reason the trailer became detached and ended up on the other side of the road in the path of a Fiat Brava driven by the 38-year-old woman."

Crews in two fire appliances, plus an emergency tender, from Hartlepool fire station dealt with the incident.

Thirteen killed in road accident in South Africa

Thirteen killed in road accident in South Africa

AP Worldstream
Dateline: JOHANNESBURG, South Africa
A minibus crashed into the trailer truck Monday, killing 13 people and seriously injuring three others, police said.

The trailer had broken loose from the truck near the Ventersdorp town, 160 kilometers (100 miles) west of Johannesburg, and was parked unmanned in the middle of the road, said police spokeswoman Sally Moloi.

The taxi slammed into the trailer, the South African Press Association reported.

The police said 13 passengers in the minibus were killed in the accident and two men and a woman were seriously injured. All were South African.

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