Thank your lucky stars if you weren’t on the A249 near Sheppey crossing in Kent this morning. Two hundred people have been injured as more than 100 vehicles were involved in a series of crashes blamed on heavy fog.
Initial reports suggested up to 40 vehicles were involved, but police later revised that figure to more than 100. Six people are thought to have serious injuries as a result of the collisions, which occurred at about 07:15 BST. 200 people are reported to have sustained minor injuries.
Firefighters confirmed they had to free five people from vehicles that had been travelling on the south bound carriageway.
Witnesses have said visibility was very poor in the area and that drivers were approaching Sheppey crossing with no lights. David Martin Stammers described the scene as “horrendous” and claims to have seen people lying on the floors and cars under lorries.
He said visibility was between 10 and 20 yards when he approached the bridge and saw five cars had collided with each other with another having come to a stop across the outside lane. Mr Sheppey drove through a gap between that car and the central reservation before witnessing cars “screeching and thudding” into each other and lorries crashing for 10 minutes afterwards.
He said he and his son ran to warn other drovers to slow down as they approached the bridge.
Ch Insp Andy Reeves said the crash was over a “protracted area” with undamaged vehicles between others which had collided.
He said he expected the crossing to remain closed in both directions for the remainder of the working day, including this evening’s rush hour.
Police said if people had to make essential trips to the island they could use the old Kingsferry Bridge, but should expect long delays.
The Sheppey Crossing opened in 2006 and is 0.75 miles long. The £100m four-lane crossing connects the Isle of Sheppey with mainland Kent.