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Lorry driver's actions prevented tragedy after seeing man slumped over steering wheel of HGV on M5

10 Mar 2018, 13:55 ... HGV_on_M5/


THE “remarkable quick-thinking” of a lorry driver prevented tragedy when she spotted a man slumped over the steering wheel in the cab of his HGV, witnesses say.

Two lorries collided on the M5 between junction 25, for Taunton, and junction 24, for Bridgwater South, leading to a temporary closure of the northbound carriageway.

Colin and Carol Wheeler were travelling from North Devon to Nailsea and said events appeared to unfold in front of them in “slow motion” yesterday afternoon.

A DHL lorry driver pulled up alongside the driver of the white truck after he appeared to suffer a medical episode.

And after the truck began to veer to its right, bumping into the DHL lorry, its driver stayed by his side to prevent him swerving across three lanes of motorway traffic.

Mr Wheeler, 72, said: “I want to get hold of DHL because the lorry driver was remarkably quick-thinking and courageous and could have prevented a more serious situation by putting her lorry alongside his.”

At shortly after 3pm, Mr Wheeler said traffic began to slow to 20mph and he assumed livestock had run onto the motorway.

RELATED: Two-lorry crash leads to lane closure on M5 between Taunton and Bridgwater

But unbeknownst to him at this stage, it was because an out of control lorry was being contained in the left-hand lane by the DHL heroine.

“Two lorries were straddling the white line and creating a road block. The lorry on the left-hand side, which was a white artic with a trailer, then came together with the other lorry, but that nudged him left slightly away from the central reservation.

“The lorry then went straight onto the hard shoulder, into the ditch and trees. She saw him slumped over the wheel and instinctively kept him away from the central reservation.

At this point, dozens of motorists pulled over to rush to the drivers aid and emergency services soon arrived at the scene.

“They all tried to get to the driver who was slumped over the wheel,” he added.

“The lorry driver was so upset she might get into trouble,” he added. “But we just wanted to pass a message down the line to this driver who showed great presence of mind and should be recognised.”

An alert appeared on website Travel Somerset at the time of the incident informing people of the crash at about 3pm on Thursday (March 8).

A spokesman for the ambulance service said at the time: "We were called at 3.14pm to attend the scene of a road traffic collision on the M5 northbound between J25 and 24, reportedly involving a lorry in a hedge.

"We attended with three ambulances and an operations officer. A patient was taken to Musgrove Park Hospital. The police and fire service were informed of the incident."

Are you the DHL lorry driver? Do you know who she is? Either way, we'd love to hear from you. Call 01823 365022

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