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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Van driver who died after crash on main road near Carlisle named

A man who died after a crash on the main A595 road near Carlisle today has been named by police.

Alistair Gerald Stockdale, 49, of Whinlatter Road, Whitehaven, was driving a Ford Transit van when it was in collision with a HGV on the brow of a hill at Newby Cross at 3.15am.

The HGV was being driven by a 46-year-old man from Hungary, who has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving.

Police believe he may have been driving on the wrong side of the road.

Mr Stockdale was seriously injured and died in the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

His front seat passenger, a 21-year-old man from Carlisle, suffered neck injuries and was also treated at the Cumberland Infirmary but discharged after treatment.

Mr Stockdale's van was from Menzies Distribution and was loaded with newspapers bound for west Cumbria.

Shocked emergency services on the scene found the van ripped open from front to back, “as if it had been opened with a tin opener”.

Police have launched an investigation into the smash and say early findings suggest that the lorry driver might have been travelling on the right hand side of the road.

Speaking from the scene of the accident, Inspector Paul Kissack appealed for anyone who may have seen the Willi Betz-liveried lorry driving in this manner to come forward.

He said: “We are in the early stages of investigation and trying to piece together what happened.

"From our inquiries so far we believe that the lorry driver left Brown’s Haulage Yard heading for Carlisle and travelled along the A595. At the time of the collision the lorry was on the wrong side of the road.

“He came over the hill and hit the Transit van head on.”

Police believe the driver of the lorry, which was loaded with Nestle chocolate, may have been travelling on the right hand side of the road since leaving the haulage yard with the first vehicle he encountered being the blue van.

Inspector Kissack added: “The lorry driver has been arrested and is now being questioned by police.

“I would appeal to anyone who saw this HGV travelling on the wrong side of the road and may be thought it was strange but didn’t report it, to come forward.”

Two ambulances, three fire crews and police were called to the scene at just after 3am and paramedics contacted police.

The injured men had been released by the time the firefighters arrived but they stayed until 4am to make the area safe.

Station manager Craig Drinkald said the damage to the van was so extreme, the victims were easily removed by the ambulance service.

He said: “It looked like it had almost ripped the van in half from front to back, as if it had been opened with a tin opener. It was open to the elements and the cargo in the back of it was spread all over the road.

“We were only needed to make the scene safe, doing things like disconnecting the batteries to make sure there was no risk to anyone else.”

The A595 was closed between Peter Lane and Cardewlees - and diversions put in place via Dalston - until 1.15pm.

Drivers had been asked to avoid the crash area. HGVs travelling towards Carlisle or the M6 motorway were told to use the A595 from Thursby roundabout and then the B5305.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash and anyone with information should contact Inspector Paul Kissack or any other officer on 0845 33 00 247.

A two-car minor crash on the road from Dalston to Carlisle, shortly after 7pm, slowed traffic there for a brief period.

  • A Royal Mail delivery van and a car collided near Carlisle this morning.

The accident involving a silver Vauxhall Astra and the post van occurred just before 8.30 at Whiteclosegate. The female driver of the Astra was said to have injured a foot.

 

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