Last week saw one of the biggest UK road traffic accidents of recent times. 230 vehicles collided on the A249 Sheppey Crossing in Kent, purportedly caused by thick fog.
The crash, which is believed to have involved 130 vehicles, is said to have caused over 60 injuries with some being serious and over 35 people needing hospital treatment. Accident victims were taken to 6 different hospitals in the surrounding area including Medway, Maidstone and Ashford and the road was closed for 9 hours following the incident.
There was poor visibility occurring before the crash and some drivers are said not to have had their lights on.
One person involved in the smash told the BBC news that visibility was 10 – 20 yards ahead and that he saw 5 cars crash into each other.
An eye witness to the crash said that people were lying on the ground and there was a mass of tangled cars, some under lorries. Fire fighters were required to help 5 victims be removed from wreckages.
Treatment at the scene was given in a number of cases and South East Coast Ambulance Service said that around 200 people were treated and given advice if symptoms persisted e.g. whiplash injuries.
One 19 year old student who was involved in the accident told the BBC news about the visibility issues at the scene. She said that when she was driving through the fog although she had managed to stop in time to prevent a collision ahead of her, a van collided into her and she ran into the back of a car.
She said the fog prevented her from being able to see beyond a few cars ahead, adding: “All I could hear was the cars smashing in front of each other and I could not know how far ahead the accident was.”
Chief Inspector Andy Reeves said it was too early to say if the fog had caused the smash but said that weather could have been a factor.
The four lane crossing where the accident happened, joins the Isle of Sheppey and mainland Kent. It is believed that the source of the accident began at the bridge heading towards Sittingbourne.
Since the bridge opened in 2006 there have been a number of safety concerns by local people. Local MP, Gordon Henderson, was quick to express his concerns about the people who had been injured in the crash but also said that there has been previous concerns about a lack of lighting on the bridge and that he would be asking questions to the authorities.
A Highways agency spokesperson said also that it was too early to speculate and that the accident is still under investigation by the police. The spokesperson said there had been a safety audit carried out on the crossing a year after its completion showing that the accidents on the A249 had decreased and that the rate of accidents on the stretch was lower than the national average.
Road traffic accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. In some cases, no blame can be apportioned, however, in some instances it is clear that the fault of the accident was due to third party negligence.
If you have had a road traffic accident of any kind and suffered an injury through no fault of your own then it possible you could make a compensation accident claim.
First Personal Injury can help you with your personal injury claim. Please call us to discuss the details of your possible case on 0800 808 9740.
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