Newton Pop lorry crash drama was “like a dream”

15:44 29 December 2010

HOME DELIVERY: Lorry accident in Newton Poppleford

HOME DELIVERY: Lorry accident in Newton Poppleford

Lesley Carter

A FAMILY of six had a lucky escape when a jack-knifed lorry carrying 30 tonnes of festive food crashed into their home while they slept.

A FAMILY of six had a lucky escape when a jack-knifed lorry carrying 30 tonnes of festive food crashed into their home while they slept.

Three generations of the Carters were woken at 5.30am last Tuesday, December 21, when the huge Waitrose delivery vehicle slid out of control in icy conditions and careered into the 18th century farmhouse.

The stricken lorry completely blocked and shut the busy Exeter Hill stretch of the A3052 in Newton Poppleford for five hours.

Stunned teenager Lesley Carter said the moment she woke to find the massive vehicle right outside her bedroom window was “like a dream.”

“All I heard was a thud and then the house literally shook,” said Lesley, 15, “my mum rushed in and told me to look out my window. The lorry was right outside. It didn’t seem real. I still can’t believe it.”

The family feel they were saved from injury by the 300-year-old farmhouse’s strong build. They said damage wasn’t “too serious” but could cost thousands to fix.

“We’re lucky it wasn’t worse,” said Lesley’s brother, Shaun, 18, “If it was a new house we could have all been flat packed and washed out to sea.”

The shocked family raced outside in their pyjamas to make sure the lorry’s driver wasn’t seriously hurt.

They said the driver feared further disaster as another huge lorry was on its way down the dangerously icy stretch. However, a mystery driver in a silver Range Rover raced from the scene to halt oncoming traffic, according to the Carters.

The lorry driver was unhurt. Teenagers Lesley and Shaun, parents Andrew and Della and grandparents Betty and John Tucker, were shocked but escaped injury.

The lorry was fully laden with Christmas supplies. Devon County Council said the road had been gritted.

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