Footage shows the extent of the damage to vehicles caught in the M55 ‘freak hailstorm’.Advertisement
Conditions on the M55 between Junction 1 and 3 caused treacherous driving conditions late on Tuesday (2 April) evening.
More than 20 cars were involved in the pile-up just before the Kirkham junction.
One driver, from Bolton, was one of those caught up in the chaos.
She was heading down the M55 in what she described as ‘light rain’ around 9.30pm.
She told Blog Preston: “I was driving though light rain, towards Blackpool nearly reaching the junction to Kirkham, I could see the roads very clearly ahead, as there wasn’t that much traffic on road.
“From as far I could see that the head lights and brakes lights of the cars ahead were shining around in unusual direction at that point I realised I’m driving towards a huge car pile, meanwhile as I approached the bridge – where I lost control – there was a red car that had already just lost control before me and rested against the barrier, this car was on my lane just before the bridge.
“I was driving in the far left lane. Luckily there was no cars approaching so I switched lanes to avoid collision, but as the shadow of the bridge covered the actual hazard on the road, it was impossible to notice the snow on the road, especially as it wasn’t even snowing! By the time I got in that area.
“As my head lights shone on the road that’s when we realised but was too late, I spun three times round, I’m sure I hit the central reservation, then it sent me and my husband spinning round again, at this point the impact of the first hit was so hard that snapped my wheel and locked, so the back of my BMW was sliding into the vehicle that was in my lane I could not control or stop the car, at the speed of 45mph travelling side ways the car came to a halt with a huge smack on the left passenger side as my husband got full impact.
“In shock, there seemed like there was no sound at all I could hear apin drop on the motorway.
“Suddenly I came into realisation that we were in a very dangerous situation and had to vacate the car. I could see headlights approaching me as we were facing the opposite side traffic, the lovely older gentleman who got out of his red car before I lost control, he helped me over the barrier, and within seconds a white van lost control and went straight into my BMW where I would’ve still been sat and squashed my whole car.”
The BMW driver described how her and her husband saw five more vehicles lose control as they approached the bridge.
She said: “It was shocking to see how such a small patch of road with ice and snow could create such huge carnage.”
Paramedics gave her and her husband blankets and medication and gave them a lift to the nearest service station at Westholme Garage.
Read more: Terrifying footage shows driver going the wrong way down the M55
She was full of praise for the paramedics and the staff at the garage.
She said: “We arrived at the fuel station in Fleetwood Road (Westholme Garage) and explained to the kind hearted female staff on duty to look after us till we get a lift organised.
“She was so caring she also before he left bought us hot chocolate to warm us up, and it made me proud to be a part of such an experience to meet such kind people.
“Many thanks to the female paramedics who gave us blankets and pain killers. A huge thank-you to the lovely older gentleman with the red car who helped me over the barrier before the van approached my BMW.”
The BMW driver had bruised ribs and says the experience has put her off driving on the motorway again.
She said: “I pray I never experience such carnage ever again.”
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