Shocked driver talks of near miss with HGV
5:30am Saturday 10th May 2014 in By Beren Cross, @BerenCross
A DRIVER has relived the moment he cheated death on the A361 between Swindon and Highworth as a military HGV swerved across the path of his car.
The truck, which was towing a trailer, was travelling northbound when its trailer began to snake across the road shortly before 12.30pm on Tuesday.
In an effort to correct the movement, the driver began to swerve across the road, but soon lost control and swept across the path of oncoming traffic, through the roadside tree-line and into an adjacent field.
Lee Clayton, 23, assistant manager at The Co-op in High-worth, was driving home to Ermin Street in Stratton when he slammed on the brakes of his Vauxhall Corsa to avoid a collision.
“I saw the back of his trailer snaking a bit and he began to start swerving to try and correct it,” he said.
“The back of his trailer went onto the verge. It all happened so quickly, it was unreal.
“It was surreal, I have never come across anything like it. I was really shook up by it.
“I just began braking. I didn’t know what to do. I had nowhere to go. I was hoping for the best. I must have only missed him by 20 to 30 feet.
“It would have [killed me], to be honest – when you see the size and the weight of that thing.”
Once the HGV, which Mr Clayton believes belonged to US military, had settled in the field, cars pulled over to assess any damage or injuries.
Skid marks covered both carriageways, where the driver of the truck had attempted to regain control.
There was also mud and grass scattered across the road where the truck had broken through the tree-line.
As Mr Clayton checked himself for any injuries he checked on the driver of the HGV in the field.
“He was holding his heart. He said he couldn’t believe he hadn’t hit anyone,” he said.
“I walked into the field and asked him how he was.
“He was in total shock as to what had happened.
“He said the back end of the vehicle had struck a rut by the side of the road and kicked out.”
Mr Clayton returned to his home in Ermin Street shortly after the accident.
On his return to Highworth later he saw the police at the scene and the lorry still in the field. He pulled over to give his statement and went on to work.