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Police jump into action after HGV starts rolling backwards downhill

News   •   May 29, 2019 15:16 BST

Three quick-thinking police officers jumped into action after a 7.5-tonne lorry began rolling backwards downhill on a major dual carriageway.

The trio have been commended for their bravery following the incident on the A23 Handcross Hill about 4.40pm on Tuesday 28 May.

While on duty for an unrelated operation, the officers became aware of a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) which started to slow significantly on its ascent of the northbound carriageway.

They pulled alongside the vehicle and noticed the driver appeared to be unconscious at the wheel.

Fearing he was not in proper control, all three officers stopped in the carriageway and entered both sides of the cab – one attempted to rouse the driver, another applied pressure with his hand on the foot brake, and the third managed to pull the air brake.

After bringing the lorry to a safe stop, the officers got the driver out of the cab and managed to rouse him on the side of the road, and he was checked over by paramedics.

PC Liz Daddy, of the Roads Policing Unit, said: “While the exact circumstances are unclear at this stage, it appears the HGV was involved in a collision with two other vehicles shortly before the incident. However, we are continuing to investigate and we are thankful no one was seriously injured.

“I have no doubt that without the quick-thinking heroics of these three officers, this incident could have been far worse than it was. Had they not been in the right place at the right time, and acted on their instincts, the lorry would have continued to roll down the hill.

“I’d personally like to commend the officers for their bravery and professionalism, and ultimately preventing a potentially major incident from occurring.”

Author: Sam Satchell
Ref: SXP540/2019


Kindly note all three officers are currently on night duties - therefore, they are unable for interview and have not given consent to be identified at this stage.