By Jos Weale
This is the hair-raising moment a driver narrowly avoided a ‘Final Destination’-style end after plastic poles flew 20 METRES from a van on the motorway and smashed into his car.
Danny Critchely believes he was lucky to survive the dramatic near miss unscathed after guttering suddenly came loose from the roof of a van in the opposite carriageway and was hurled directly into his path.
The 32-year-old caught the unbelievable incident on his dashcam as he headed to work along the M6 near his home town of Wigan at about 9.30am on March 4.
The married dad-of-two said the moment, which mimicked a grizzly death scene from the Final Destination horror flick franchise, could have been worse if he had been travelling faster.
Lorry driver Danny said: “I was on the M6 heading north near junction 25 on my way to work. I was in lane two and the van was in the middle lane too on the opposite carriageway.
“The load must have flown about 20 metres, it just took off. Some of it was in my natural blind spot as well so I couldn’t see where it was.
“It made me jump and I think I swore, but I didn’t know what had hit me, it happened really quickly.
“I was worried because there were other cars next to and behind me that I thought could have got hit too, and they could have side-swiped me trying to avoid hitting the load.
“Looking back it could have been a lot worse. When I watched the video back it made me jump and I thought, ‘what the heck was that?’
“It’s only when you slow the footage right down that you can see how far it flies.
“The guttering doesn’t look very heavy but when it’s travelling that fast it can do some damage. I wasn’t driving too fast so luckily I could deal with it too.”
Danny said he was even more taken aback when he watched the footage of the incident a few days later and saw how close he was to a big hit from the load.
The dad, who has been a lorry driver for 20 years, said it is not the first nail-biting moment he has experienced during his time on the roads.
Danny said: “You’d be surprised how often it does happen. I’ve seen a brick pallet nearly slide off the back of a lorry and called up the company to let them know that the driver needed to stop and secure them again.
“It’s very common to see ladders in the road that have fallen off vans I think a lot of company drivers are under pressure to get to jobs quickly and perhaps don’t spend as long as they should making sure their load is secure.
“In this case it seems to have been a builder on his own, perhaps an independent roofer or something. Just secure your load. The best thing was that no harm was done, I suppose. Just a builder left scratching his head saying, ‘did we load the guttering?’