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Retired firefighter praises ex-colleagues for their 'swift actions' after wife injured in three-vehicle collision on A17 near Sutton Bridge




A retired firefighter whose wife was seriously injured in a crash on the A17 near Sutton Bridge has praised emergency services for their "skill and professionalism".

Joanne King, whose husband Richard served as a retained firefighter in Long Sutton for 25 years, was one of two people injured after a three-vehicle collision on the Norfolk side of Cross Keys Bridge on Friday morning.

Former colleagues of Mr King from Long Sutton Fire Station, along with crews from Spalding, Grantham and three West Norfolk-based fire stations were called to the A17, near Centenary Way, shortly after 11.15am.

Two people were injured after a collision between two cars and a lorry on the A17 near Sutton Bridge on Friday.Photo: MLNF-19MF030142
Two people were injured after a collision between two cars and a lorry on the A17 near Sutton Bridge on Friday.Photo: MLNF-19MF030142

Mrs King, a mother-of-four from Long Sutton, was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, with what Lincolnshire Police described as "serious, but not life-threatening injuries".

Mr King said: "From what I can make out, my wife was in a stationary car on the A17, near Sutton Bridge, when a lorry came from behind and ran into the back of her.

"I had a premonition that something was wrong and the family is devastated.

Richard and Joanne King at Buckingham Palace in 2016 for the Queen's Garden Party.Photo supplied. (8172475)
Richard and Joanne King at Buckingham Palace in 2016 for the Queen's Garden Party.Photo supplied. (8172475)

"Various people and eyewitnesses told me about the speed, skill, great care and professionalism that fire crews showed to get her out of the car in what would have been extremely difficult circumstances.

"Some of my old crew were called out to her and due to their swift actions, I was able to kiss my wife goodnight on Friday.

"It was the sweetest, most heartfelt moment of my life when her eyes lit up for the first time since the accident and I knew I had got her back."

Two people were injured after a collision between two cars and a lorry on the A17 near Sutton Bridge on Friday.Photo: MLNF-19MF030144
Two people were injured after a collision between two cars and a lorry on the A17 near Sutton Bridge on Friday.Photo: MLNF-19MF030144

A section of the A17 was closed in both directions for more than seven hours while emergency services worked at the scene.

Firefighters used specialist cutting equipment to free Mrs King, while paramedics and two LIVES responders treated another casualty for more minor injuries.

Traffic congestion in Sutton Bridge after a three-vehicle collision on the A17 near Cross Keys Bridge on Friday.Photo supplied.
Traffic congestion in Sutton Bridge after a three-vehicle collision on the A17 near Cross Keys Bridge on Friday.Photo supplied.

Mr King said: "Joanne is very poorly and we really hope she'll make a full recovery.

"But, as a family, we'll pick ourselves up and we're just grateful that she's still with us.

"In the meantime, I'd like to thank all the fire crews and other emergency services for their ongoing commitment to keeping us all safe."

. A Lincolnshire Police spokesman confirmed that a 61-year-old man who was arrested after the crash on suspicion of drug-driving and possession of cannabis has since been released under investigation.


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