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Delivery man tries to squeeze his lorry under a low bridge in Blackburn
As far as misjudgements go, it was pretty catastrophic. Richard McDowell tried to squeeze his 15ft 9ins tall lorry under Skew Bridge in Whalley New Road, Blackburn, yesterday, even though he knew the bridge was only 14ft 9ins high
A LORRY driver has admitted trying to squeeze under a railway bridge even though his vehicle was too large.
The confession came after the HGV smashed into Skew Bridge, in Whalley New Road, Blackburn, at around 10.40am yesterday, resulting in the front of the trailer being badly damaged and bottles of alcopops to be spilt into the road.
Driver Richard Dennis McDowell, from Stockport, said he and his colleague had seen the sign 370 yards away informing drivers the bridge was 14ft 9ins-tall but thought they would be able to pass the 15ft 9ins lorry under.
The 63-year-old, who has been driving lorries for 20 years, said: “There are signs a bit further up, but I thought I would make it.
“We were talking about the height on the trailer. Inside it says 15ft 9ins. I said ‘this is not 15ft 9ins’.
“We thought it was smaller than what it was, but I never checked.
“The vehicle went sideways and it nearly tipped over. I was not thinking much, I was just shaking.”
Both men were unharmed.
The Culina lorry had been travelling from Blackburn to Accrington to deliver items including Red Bull energy drinks and blue WKD Original.
One lane was blocked while a recovery van was called and police officers controlled traffic to ensure it did not back up. The bridge had to be closed for over an hour while a Network Rail engineer worked to make sure it was safe for trains to cross.
The 10am service from Manchester Victoria to Clitheroe had to be turned back at Blackburn and the 10.40am service travelling in the opposite direction was only able to start at Blackburn. Normal services resumed at around 11.45am.
A spokesman for Lancashire police said: “We were called at around 10.30am. The lorry was in a bit of a mess – the trailer was crumpled.
“We worked to control traffic and Network Rail was called out to have a look at the wall.”
Bob Smith, who lives just off Rosewood Avenue, near where the crash happened, said it was not the first time a lorry had hit the bridge.
He said: “The driver should have known the lorry was too high. He might have had a better chance in the middle of the road. This kind of thing does happen now and then.”
Nobody from Culina was available for comment.