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.