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20-tonne runaway

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: July 24, 2013

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LUCKY ESCAPE:  The runaway lorry  in St Austell.    :  Andy Johnson

LUCKY ESCAPE: The runaway lorry in St Austell. : Andy Johnson

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A 20-TONNE runaway lorry loaded with concrete blocks left a trail of damage in St Austell – with witnesses saying it was a "godsend" no one was injured.

The drama unfolded after a lorry driver parked the vehicle in a slipway leading to the car park at St Austell railway station on Monday at about 1.50pm.

It is believed the driver was out of the 16-tonne vehicle, which was carrying 4 tonnes of concrete blocks, when it started to roll forward.

Despite taking out the wall on High Cross Street, a street sign, railings and lamppost before finally coming to a stop, miraculously no-one was hurt.

St Austell acting inspector James Honeywill said: "At the time the lorry rolled down the hill it would appear the driver was not present inside the cab and enquiries into the cause of the collision are still on-going.

"The lorry rolled down the hill causing it to go through the stone wall which separates the train station from High Cross Street, damaging the metal railings on the steps, a street sign and a light.

"Fortunately nobody was injured."

Hayley Newton, manager of spare parts shop Bits and P.Cs in High Cross Street, witnessed the aftermath of the crash and said: "It's just a godsend that no-one was hurt by the lorry. We're just relieved that no-one was crushed by it.

"It looked like the lorry had rolled down the hill.

"It's just lucky no bus or train had just come in and there wasn't lots of people around.

"I'm amazed that it was there to begin with. It's not the sort of place you want to take a big lorry."

Police officers attended and made the scene safe before putting in place a temporary road closure at High Cross Street and diverting traffic.

Rebecca Clay, who works at Flying Colours Tattoo Studio, also on High Cross Street, said the first she knew of it was when a friend posted a photograph on social networking site Facebook.

"I went outside into the road and saw the police line and the lorry hanging over the wall. This morning I saw the rubble from the crash. We're just pleased no-one was hurt."

Eddie Elmslie, operations manager for Lambert Brothers Haulage, told the Cornish Guardian: "We are not aware of the full facts but we are aware of an incident that happened yesterday afternoon involving one of our drivers."

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