Lucky escape in beach plunge
TWO men had a lucky escape after their vehicle left the road and crashed onto Porth Beach.
The car left Alexandra Road, coming from the Watergate direction, just before 10am on Wednesday. The vehicle went over the bank and hit the railings of the promenade before crashing into the beach.
Martin Hewgill, a member of Porth Residents’ Association, said: “It sounded like a wooden shed crashing down a mountainside. I even went out the front door to see if any boxes had blown into the house, but until I saw the postman had abandoned his van in my driveway and run down to the beach I did not even realise something was wrong.
“A group of teenage girls ran across the prom, but they didn’t seem to be screaming or panicking. When I got to the scene I saw the car and was shocked.
“Speaking as a local resident this is not something we would ever wish to see. It’s a very dangerous corner and I know as an association we have been calling for safety measures to be implemented here for quite some time.”
The incident involved multiple emergency services, with the air ambulance landing on the beach before moving to a nearby car park, and three fire engines, two police vehicles, a land ambulance and the Coastguard all attending. A spokesperson for Cornwall Fire Service said:
“Two appliances from Newquay, the rescue tender from Bodmin and a specialist technical rescue officer were mobilised by South West Ambulance Service who reported a vehicle had gone over the side of a cliff on to Porth Beach.
“When the first appliance arrived it was discovered two casualties were injured and trapped inside. Initial first aid was administered until the arrival of the ambulance service. Crash rescue equipment was used to free the casualties from the vehicle and they were handed into the care of the air ambulance which was also on scene. Firecrews remained on scene to assist with the recovery of the vehicle from the beach and make the scene safe.”
The driver, a man in his 40s, and his passenger, both suffered injuries. After being freed, one man was airlifted to hospital with suspected head, back and neck injuries and the other was taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital by ambulance with non life-threatening injuries.
A police spokesperson said: “Police were informed that an estate car had left the road and gone over the bank on to Porth Beach. Coastguard, police, fire and ambulance all attended. Both men were removed from the car and the vehicle was removed from the area shortly after.”
It is believed the incident was caused by an electrical fault with the car which prevented the driver from slowing, but many local residents have raised issues with the stretch of road for some time.
Jean Smith, chairman of Porth Residents’ Association, said: “This is an issue which has gone on for several years. As an association we have raised our concerns and called for safety measures to be put in at that corner. We would like to see safety barriers there, like the sort you find on motorways, which could help stop cars from going over the edge.
“We were very fortunate there was nobody on the beach below when this happened, and this was not the first car to go over the edge. We need safety barriers, a ‘slow down’ sign, and the road markings, which have faded over the years, need to be re-done. I also noticed before the accident there was a large chevron on the corner to warn drivers, but I think the car may have hit it on the way down because it has now been replaced with a much smaller chevron, which is not good enough.”
- 30th March 2017 15:59
- How badly must they have been driving in order to do that?