An accident waiting to happen?

Written by David Thornton on .


Your picture of the overturned truck on the corner of Barnfield and Elcot Lane in Marlborough is a demonstration of an accident that has been waiting to happen.  And it did yesterday afternoon.

The truck driver was delivering 26 tons of seed in a 40 ft truck to an address in Pewsey from Scunthorpe Lincolnshire, but arrived in Barnfield instead, presumably because of a sat nav postcode entry error.

But why, despite efforts from many of us present to stop him, he took the decision to turn left off Barnfield into Elcot Lane is a mystery.  Anyone could see that such a tight turn would not be possible and the trailer flipped on its side as a result.  There are two good videos on-line to show just how it happened.

The truck also damaged hedges, fences, trees, grass banking and the road surface on its passage down Barnfield - a road totally unsuitable for HGVs.

The roads were closed for 24 hours.

It took several hours to unload the truck this morning and now the roads are open again but the trailer looked severely damaged. The power was off for residents for some time as a safety measure and police fire and ambulance crews have variously attended over the 24 hour period.

The Police surprisingly have blamed Wiltshire Council for not installing a sign at the top of Barnfield on the public road to advise HGV drivers that the road is unsuitable.

The real issue is truck drivers using car sat navs, which send drivers down impossible roads despite all the visual evidence telling them that they are getting into trouble.  The result is a significant cost to public services to recover their vehicles safely - a waste of a dwindling resource.

In this case the driver caused considerable risk to himself and to local residents with his rash decision to attempt an impossible turn and to continue driving while his trailer was tipping over.

Hopefully we will see a prosecution to discourage this type of driving.


David Thornton