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Lostwithiel woman, 20, fights for life after crash

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: October 12, 2012

CLOSED OFF: The usually busy A390 was out of action for most of Tuesday, when the road was closed due to a car crash outside Lostwithiel.

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THE FORMER Lostwithiel mayor is calling for a dangerous road to be reviewed after a young woman sustained life-threatening injuries in a crash where her car collided with a tree.

A 20-year-old woman from the Looe area is fighting for her life following the incident on the A390 near Downend, Lostwithiel.

Her vehicle, a green Fiat Punto, lost control on a right-hand bend, crossed the carriageway and left the road, colliding with a tree at around 8.25pm on Monday.

Firefighters cut her free and she was flown to Derriford Hospital by air ambulance.

Fifteen firefighters attended the scene – no other vehicle was involved in the crash.

Several miles of the A390 between Lostwithiel and Middle Taphouse was closed for around 18 hours while a specialist forensic investigation of the scene took place.

Police from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit are appealing for witnesses to come forward with information.

Former Lostwithiel mayor, Dave Robson, told the Cornish Guardian that this section of the A390 is known as a "bad road" by locals.

He said he has been pushing Cornwall Council's highways department for at least 18 months to reduce the speed limit and install better signage – but nothing has been done.

"I have been on to highways and our Cornwall councillor on numerous occasions to lower the 60mph limit to 40mph to start from about there," he said.

Mr Robson said drivers face a short time frame to reduce their speed from 60mph to 40mph along the road. If you are coming into Lostwithiel from Liskeard you come down a long hill," he said. "From the top of the hill you can literally take your foot off the accelerator and glide down all the way to the garage.

"There is then a sharp bend. The 40mph limit should start certainly from the other side of the houses – so around 500 metres from where it starts now. It would make all the difference.

"Because there have been few reported accidents there, Cornwall Council and Highways think it is a safe road. They continue to take no notice of local knowledge."

John Hawkes, who runs Downend Garage, said there has been a "more than normal" amount of accidents there. "I would think something needs to be done about it," he said.

"Guessing, I would say (there's been) probably eight [accidents] this year on that particular road.

"It has increased in recent years quite a lot. That particular spot seems to be consuming a lot of accidents."

Cornwall Council said that CORMAC Solutions, who provide its highway management function, said it will "examine the results of the joint inquiry being carried out with the police into possible contributory factors which may have led to such a tragic incident and will respond to any concerns or queries received from the town council and the local Cornwall councillor".

Mr Robson said he believes the A390 needs to be looked at "completely".

A 54-year-old grandfather died last month when his red Honda motorbike collided with a car at the junction of the A390 and B3269 south-west of Lostwithiel.

Mr Robson said there was another crash on the A390 on Tuesday by Penpillick Hill and that the road between Lostwithiel and St Blazey had also been closed.

"They have spent money on the A30, they have spent money on the A38 but little has been done to the A390," he said. "It needs looking at again completely. It is one of the main artery roads in and out of Cornwall. It could be made safer."

Witnesses to Monday's crash at Downend are asked to contact the police on 101 quoting log number 752 of October 8, 2012.

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