Sleeping man lucky to be alive after lorry crash

A man who was sleeping inside a property which was struck by an articulated lorry said he was “lucky to be alive”.

Devon and Cornwall Police said it was called to Gammaton Road near Bideford at about 15:15 BST on Monday.

It said an articulated lorry’s trailer tipped over and hit a house causing damage to the outside and inside.

Peter Stuart said a piece of exercise equipment which was stored next to the window saved his life.

Close up of Peter StuartClose up of Peter Stuart

Mr Stuart said he awoke to a “big thud” and a “cloud of dust” [BBC]

Mr Stuart, who works night shifts, said reinforced concrete slabs fell on to the right-hand side of a bed and narrowly missed him.

“If that cross trainer weren’t there, near the window, I probably wouldn’t be here now,” he said.

Homeowner Stephen Edwards, who runs a bed and breakfast, said the incident was a “nightmare” and left him “traumatised”.

He said he had previously raised the issue with the nearby solar farm and said lorries were unable to fit around the bend.

“Lorries are not following the designated route,” he said.

“They can’t get round this bend.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen and and it’s pure luck that one of us wasn’t killed.”

Mr Edwards said a huge hole has been left in the property wall and his bedroom was “completely wrecked”.

He said he was worried about being able to run the business due to the damage.

“It’s just starting to pick up and get busy, it couldn’t really be a worse time for us.”

Close up of Stephen EdwardsClose up of Stephen Edwards

Mr Edwards said the incident left him in shock [BBC]

One resident said the crash was “part of a larger problem” as the road was “not suitable for lorries”.

They said: “I turned back two lorries earlier in the day, the road is not suitable for lorries, they’re just wiping the banks away and making it impossible for people who live here.

“It was almost inevitable, the camber would have helped it tip over.”

Renewable energy producer, Sonnedix, said it was aware of the incident which involved a third-party supplier delivering equipment to its site.

It said it was “very concerned to hear about damage to private property”.

“We’ve launched an investigation to understand what happened and have temporarily stopped transport to the site,” a spokesperson said.

“We are in close contact with our supplier to put in place steps to ensure a similar incident does not happen again and to minimise wider disruption for residents.”

Police said a man was injured in the crash and the lorry was due to be recovered later.

The force said no arrests had been made and they would submit a file to the CPS, which would decide on further action.

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