Dad witnessed lorry overturn on A49 roundabout in Weaverham

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A DAD who witnessed a lorry carrying concrete overturn on a busy roundabout, said it was a miracle the incident didn’t result in a child being killed. Gary Prior was taking his two daughters to school in Weaverham at around 8.15am on Monday, when he witnessed two wheels of the HGV go up into the air before it came crashing down on to the path that runs alongside the busy A49. “I was just pulling up to the A49 roundabout from Cuddington way,” the account manager said.

“The lorry came around from the direction Acton Bridge, not at speed or anything at all like that, and as it started to turn, I just two wheels go up into the air and then, bang, it was over. “My heart was in my mouth and it all seemed to happen in slow motion. “My first thought as I watched it overturn was, ‘please don’t let there be a child under that’.

“There are so many children that walk that route every morning, and it was around 8.15am, so it is obviously peak time for them to be doing so.” Mr Prior said he was about 10 vehicles back at the time and and how the incident had reawakened fears about how dangerous the roundabout is for children who walk the route day after day. He added: “Plenty of people got out of their cars and I called the police and for an ambulance.

“Thankfully the driver of the lorry doesn’t appear to have suffered any injuries, which is great news. “But that’s a 60mph road and children are walking adjacent to it and having to cross it on a daily basis. “If you have a look where the lorry fell, that is a main pathway to the school.

“Honestly, there are so many children who walk down there of a morning, it is a miracle nobody was under it.” Mr Prior said there were plenty of children in the area when the incident happened and questioned the removal of free school transport, saying the cost now incurred by parents meant many couldn’t afford it and had no other option but to let their children walk to school. “I’m fortunate in that I can take time off from work every morning to drop off and pick my kids up from school,” he added.

“There used to be a free school bus between Sandiway and Cuddington until a few years ago. “Parents have to pay for it now, and it’s about GBP15 per week per child, which soon adds up, especially if you’ve got more than one kid going to school. “People can’t afford it and that’s why kids are walking to school, some of whom are very young.

“You see them all year, even when it’s dark in the winter and it just doesn’t sit right with me. “As I say, it’s a miracle that something truly tragic didn’t happen. “I won’t let my kids walk to school, but I’m lucky that I can do that.”

Firefighters freed the driver of the HGV through the window of his cab and he is not believed to have sustained any injuries.