Young girl among truck crash dead

Published: Tuesday 10th February 2015 by The News Editor

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A young girl is one of the four people who died when a tipper truck collided with vehicles and pedestrians on a hill, police said.

The girl, who was a pedestrian, and three adults, who were in a car, died at the scene in Lansdown Lane in Upper Weston in Bath, Somerset, just after 4pm yesterday.

The tipper truck, which was carrying aggregate, crashed into cars and two pedestrians as it travelled down the steep hill.

One casualty, believed to be female, was airlifted to Southmead Hospital in Bristol in a “critical” condition from a nearby primary school playing field.

Three further patients – two men and one woman – were taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath with “minor Injuries”.

Several “walking wounded” with less serious injuries were assessed and treated at a makeshift facility at the school.

Early witness reports given to police suggest that the driver of the tipper truck, who was injured in the incident, had been trying to avert an accident.

Chief Superintendent Caroline Peters, of Avon and Somerset Police, said the 32-tonne truck first hit the little girl and another pedestrian, who is in a “very critical” condition in hospital.

It continued down the hill and struck a number of vehicles, killing three people in a car.

She described the lane as “a very busy thoroughfare”.

The area was busy with parents collecting children from school.

“There are obviously a number of witnesses who would have seen aspects of the collision, and we do know the tipper finally came to a corner, has lost control and come over and lost aggregate across the floor,” Ms Peters, speaking at the scene, told the BBC.

“What is important to us now is to ascertain the actual cause of this collision and to get as much information as we possibly can. We have got collision investigators working and will be working throughout the night.”

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said the truck driver remains under observation in hospital.

A spokesman for the Royal United Hospital in Bath said the three patients treated there, a woman and two men, had minor injuries.

“As a precaution, one adult male and one adult female are being kept in overnight,” he said. “The third person, an adult male, is being discharged.”

A detailed examination of the scene of the crash was taking place last night and the police spokesman said: “Lansdown Lane is expected to remain closed for most of the night as collision investigators carry out a detailed examination to piece together what happened.

“Early witness accounts suggest the lorry driver was trying to avert an accident.”

Motorists have been urged to avoid the Lansdown Lane area between the High Street and Deanhill Lane, which will remain shut by police.

Police have asked for Weston All Saints Primary School to close today due to the incident, a spokesman for Bath and North East Somerset Council said.

The Rev Patrick Whitworth of All Saints Church told BBC Points West the community was in shock.

“It is a very close-knit community here in Weston,” the vicar said. “I am sure we will pull together and help one another at this terrible time.”

A service will be held at the church today.

Cllr Colin Barrett, who represents the Weston ward of Bath and North East Somerset Council, told the programme he had been campaigning for safety on the road for 14 years.

“One’s feeling are for the families who have been involved in this,” he said. “Condolences are a bit of an understatement.

“I first campaigned some 14 years ago before I was a councillor. Although we have a 20mph limit here, drivers just don’t adhere to it.”

Liberal Democrat MP Don Foster described the incident as “obviously devastating, tragic and awful”.

“The community is in shock, both for the families of those killed and also those who have been affected,” he said.

“We are still waiting to get more details as to what the cause was. It is obviously devastating, tragic and awful, but until we know more we cannot speculate.”

Mr Foster said the council imposed 20mph speed restrictions on parts of the road in a bid to improve safety.

“It is a road where we have put speed limits in and flashing lights because it is quite a steep hill coming down,” he said.

“There have been attempts by the council over the years to improve safety on the road.”

Anyone with information about the tragedy, who has not already spoken to police, is asked to contact the force’s collision investigation unit on 101.

Published: Tuesday 10th February 2015 by The News Editor

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