Outrage over concrete blocks thrown at cars from bridges

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Outrage over concrete blocks thrown at cars from bridges

5th December 2011

The dropping of ‘bucket-sized’ concrete blocks on two moving cars from overhead bridges has been branded as shocking and terrifying by a road safety expert.

Joanna Bailey, a partner at Fentons Solicitors LLP who for many years has represented victims injured in serious road collisions, said: “It quite simply beggars belief to think anyone could have such little regard for other people’s safety. “I am just appalled that anyone could act in such a despicable manner so as to attempt to willfully engineer the deaths or serious injuries of random strangers traveling on the road below.”

Joanna was speaking as police held a news conference appealing for further information regarding both incidents which occurred on the A12 last Thursday night.

The first incident happened around 21:20 and involved a cylindrical-shaped block being dropped onto the windscreen of a car carrying a mother and her 26-year-old daughter as it drove under Fryerning Lane Bridge near Ingatestone. Although unharmed, the windscreen was smashed and the pair were understandably left shaken and traumatised by the experience.

About forty minutes later and 8 miles away, a similar concrete block was dropped through the windscreen of a car carrying a woman and her husband as they passed under West Hanningfield Bridge near Galleywood in Essex. The 57-year-old woman - who suffered severe fractures to her face and ribs as well as internal injuries - had to be cut from her car and remains in a serious but stable condition at Broomfield Hospital. Her husband, who was driving, escaped with only minor cuts and bruises.

“Judging by the size of the blocks and the photos detailing the damage inflicted on the vehicles, it is an absolute miracle no-one was killed,” said Joanna. “The severity of these heinous acts cannot be underestimated, and everything must be done to stop such mindless and dangerous behaviour and bring those responsible to justice.”

Fearing a repeat of the incident, Essex Police closed sections of the A12 between Boreham and Brentwood for several hours on Sunday night after a woman reported seeing a man with a concrete block on the Wantz Road Bridge, at Margaretting. Essex Police said an immediate search of the carriageway, bridge and surrounding roads was undertaken, but unfortunately yielded nothing.

Detectives are now looking back at more than 30 similar incidents over the past three years for any links to the attacks and are carrying out forensic examinations of items recovered from the bridges.

“Road safety is paramount,” said Joanna. “The perpetrators behind these appalling acts must be identified and caught. The sheer recklessness and total disregard for the safety of others is astonishing and everything must be done to ensure they are appropriately punished.”

Police – who are treating the two incidents as attempted murder – have appealed foranyone with information regarding suspicious activity, reports of other incidents or information about the removal of hardcore or building rubble, to contact them on 0300 333 4444 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

How can Fentons help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of road traffic collisions.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.

Read more: BBC