ALAMY LIVE/ EAST NEWS
Major delays after horror lorry crash on A12 between junction 25 and junction 19
The A12 is closed with traffic building up around the road at Witham after the accident which saw a lorry crash through a bridge and onto Essex's major road.
Dramatic pictures show the crumpled lorry on its end, with debris dangling from the bridge.
It smashed through the barriers of Coleman's Bridge just after 3.30pm yesterday before bursting into flames on the southbound carriageway.
Miraculously the lorry didn't strike other vehicles as it careered over the major trunk road which runs through the heart of Essex and connects the county and Suffolk with London.
The driver, man in his 30s, was pronounced dead shortly after the accident at 3.45pm.
A witness told BBC Essex on Wedensday evening the lorry hit the railings which began falling onto the road below, before crashing through the embankment and down onto the carriageway.
“It’s a miracle that no cars were hit on the A12,” he said.
“There was no police there just other lorry drivers stopping to help. Horrific, absolutely horrific.
“It’s something like out of an adventure movie.”
Lorry crashes through A12 bridge sparking major emergency services response
— stuart norris (@stuey_norris) February 9, 2017
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Chloe Willis, 20, was a passenger in a car travelling to a hockey match with friends and was “about five seconds away” from the accident.
The psychology student said “black smoke covered the sky” as the lorry caught fire.
She said: “We had to come to an emergency stop as soon as we saw this lorry turned on its side.
“A big puff of black smoke covered the sky and all the people in cars started to panic.
“You could see where the barriers on the bridge had broken when the lorry had come through.”
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The lorry smashed over the edge of Coleman's Bridge in Essex
We had to come to an emergency stop as soon as we saw this lorry turned on its side
Despite emergency services being able to slowly divert drivers from the area during last night’s rush hour the accident is still causing problems this morning.
Officers said last night the scene, between Marks Tey (junction 25) and Boreham interchange (junction 19) would be closed until noon today.
Traffic is being diverted via the A120, the A131, the A130 and back on to the A12. Road users intending on using the A12 southbound carriageway are advised to allow additional time for their journeys.
Traffic is already causing problems with Twitter users telling drivers to avoid the journey altogether.
One wrote: “It's an hour from Colchester to Marks tey #A12 .. don't go there #lorryoverthebridge.”
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The investigation into the accident has been described as “complex” by Essex Police.
Fire crews, ambulances and Essex police surrounded the scene last night as traffic queued along the A12.
“Once the investigation has concluded Highways England will carry out any repairs and complete the recovery of the vehicle,” a statement from Highways England said.
“The road will be opened as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Paramedics were called to the scene at 3.49pm and had an ambulance crew on scene within six minutes.
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