Sorry, we got it wrong. Driver did NOT catapult to safety across Fen river but, happily, he did still manage to escape injury

PUBLISHED: 20:42 22 January 2017

The van that failed to get away! Earlier reports that the driver catapulted across this Fen river were wrong.

The van that failed to get away! Earlier reports that the driver catapulted across this Fen river were wrong.

Archant

Photos have emerged dispelling earlier reports that a van driver catapulted across to safety across a Fen river - he didn't and the van sunk.

The van that failed to get away! Earlier reports that the driver catapulted across this Fen river were wrong.The van that failed to get away! Earlier reports that the driver catapulted across this Fen river were wrong.

However the driver did escape injury after the driver crashed through safety barriers at Stags Holt bend at Chain Bridge on the B1101 between Coldham and March.

Residents say the collision involved a van travelling from Coldham, which was catapulted across the river towards the opposite bank; it occurred at 6am,

Safety campaigner Graham Chappell said: “The thought of the van in question landing on the other side of the river, in the field, was an extraordinary prospect, indeed.

“That the driver walked away from this accident, after his vehicle ended up in the very cold water of the Twenty Foot Drain, on a late November morning, was incredibly fortunate in itself.”

The van that failed to get away! Earlier reports that the driver catapulted across this Fen river were wrong. The van that failed to get away! Earlier reports that the driver catapulted across this Fen river were wrong.

Mr Chappell, who helped to found the Fenland Road Safety Campaign, said he had only recently been made aware of the crash.

He said he had now discussed the merits of bringing this bend and the Twenty Foot adjacent road in line with the Sixteen Foot and Forty Foot speed limits of 50mph “which seemed worth pursuing with our colleagues in the Highways Dept.”

He said “They are also interested in modifying the banking on the approach to the junction, improving bend indicator markings and closing off the one of the access points, outside the nearest house, which could allow for additional standard barrier installation on the bend itself.

“Again, it sounded very appropriate to explore this further with Cambs CC Highways colleagues.”

Driver crashes into barrier and catapults to safety across the Twenty Foot, between Coldham and MarchDriver crashes into barrier and catapults to safety across the Twenty Foot, between Coldham and March

One of many successes of the Fenland Road Safety Campaign was improvements to Bedlam Bridge on the B1099, near March.

An £85,000 scheme was funded by the county council and the Fenland Road Safety Campaign after a successful joint bid for funding.

The campaign was launched following the death of a young girl – Charlotte Walker eight years ago.

Were you the van driver or do you know his name? Call our newsroom on 01354 661915 if you know

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