POLICE arrested the driver of a Dutch-registered Scania lorry for suspected dangerous driving after eight people were injured in a ten-vehicle pile-up on the A17 yesterday.
Firefighters freed a man from the wreckage of a Citroen Xsara Picasso and gave oxygen to four “walking wounded” following the crash, which happened shortly before 7.30am near the Farm Cafe at Fleet.
Two air ambulances and three double-crew road ambulances ferried casualties to hospitals in Boston and King’s Lynn. The ambulance service also sent two fast response vehicles and an operational manager to oversee the rescue efforts.
Police described victims’ injuries as “non life-threatening”.
Two lorries, a Fiat Scudo van, a Ford Transit van and six cars were damaged and an eyewitness described how “a large MPV was perched on top of another vehicle” with extensive debris strewn across the road.
Jon Buss, a former Spalding Guardian editor, said: “The fire and rescue service were first to arrive. At that stage there were no police or ambulances there.
“Some injured people were being given first aid – some in their cars, some on the roadside verge.
“Many people were out of their cars, trying to help.
“An elderly gentleman was directing traffic coming from the east and vehicles were turning back using the side roads.
“One person was being cared for by passers-by as he lay on the road by an open car door. Another man was lying on his back on a verge with a group of people caring for him.”
Mr Buss said vehicles on both sides of the road were involved in the crash.
A section of the A17 was closed for eight-and-a-half hours while vehicles and debris were cleared from the highway – and to allow police accident investigators to examine the scene. Traffic was diverted through Holbeach town centre, causing lengthy queues.
Lynn Rutland, service delivery manager with the ambulance service, said: “This was a particularly large scale and serious incident but our crews reacted in a highly professional manner and provided the best possible care for the casualties.”
Police said yesterday afternoon that a man and a woman taken to hospital with soft tissue injuries had been allowed home.
Anglia Motel boss Harold Payne says he has called several times for a slipway for the industrial site opposite his business to stop it being a hazard.