Missiles rain down on A17 HGV drivers

No Caption ABCDE ANL-160919-114022001
No Caption ABCDE ANL-160919-114022001

Mindless thugs are putting HGV drivers at risk by throwing missiles at their lorries while travelling on the A17 near Sutton Bridge.

At least 12 separate incidents have been reported between Gedney and Sutton Bridge, including one where a HGV driver narrowly avoided serious injury after an object smashed through his windscreen.

The driver was left “a bit shook up” and with cuts on his neck after the narrow escape while driving towards the A17 Gedney Roundabout at about 5am last Wedenesday.

The owner of one South Holland HGV operator, who asked not to be named, said: “The driver was on the dual carriageway and going up to Gedney Roundabout.

“All of sudden, there was an almighty bang and something came right into his vision which splattered glass all over his vehicle.

“He had cuts around his neck as well as the object came through the windscreen with a lot of force.

“The driver was a bit shook up when he went home to get a couple of cuts on his neck seen to.”

The Lynn News last week reported about a similar attack on the A47 in Lynn, between the Pullover and Hardwick roundabouts, when a Ford Transit was hit by an object thrown from a flyover.

It follows three cases in the Terrington St Clement area when rocks the size of golf balls were lobbed at traffic.

The latest outbreak of attacks are similar to those of two years ago when HGVs on the A17 heading towards Fleet Hargate had brick rubble thrown at them.

There were also reports of lorries being hit by stones from catapults and air rifle pellets on the A17 near University Academy Holbeach.

The haulage manager said: “We’ve heard of around a dozen separate incidents and the first instance for us came about a fortnight ago when one of our drivers said he’d felt a bang on his lorry.

“When we checked it, the headlight rim had disappeared but we just took it as something that had flown up off the road.

“Then just over a week ago, another driver was on the same stretch of the A17 when he heard a thud on the back of his lorry and found a mark the size of a golf ball.

“But after last Wednesday, this is quite serious and we’re a bit upset about it because if the missile that came through the windscreen had made the driver go across the road, it could have been a lot worse.”

After the attack last Wednesday, the haulage firm posted photographs of the damaged lorry on social media which led to calls from other transport firms whose vehicles had also been hit by objects thrown at them.

One driver working for a South Yorkshire transport firm, who also asked not to be named, said: “It happened to me about a month and a half ago when I was driving through Sutton Bridge, having come from Downham Market on my way to Lincoln.

“Another car passed me and someone in it threw a golf ball at the windscreen, putting a hole right through it.

“I was covered in glass and the windscreen had to be replaced at a cost of between £500 and £600. I’m fine now but it’s made me a bit nervous about roundabouts now.”

Drivers are advised to report anything suspicious to police by calling 101.