A CAR garage boss in Brampton says it is a miracle no one was killed when a tractor towing 170 sheep toppled over and left his forecourt as a sheep pen.

Mark Crosbie, director of Belle Vue Motors on Carlisle Road, rushed to the aid of a farmer and his injured sheep on Wednesday afternoon, when the accident happened near the Elmfield junction.

Mr Crosbie said: “It happened about 4.30pm.

“There was a loud noise.

“An hour earlier and there would have been children walking along that stretch of road on their way back from school.

“A man was walking his dog there just seconds before.

“And a customer from London, who had come to pick up his car, was close by checking insurance documents in his car.

“There is often queuing traffic at the junction outside our garage and I firmly believe if cars had been queuing there then they would have been squashed.

“The weight of the trailer toppling over is likely to have been about 15 to 20 tonnes.

“There could have been fatalities. It could have been a whole lot worse.”

The road was closed while the injured and deceased sheep were removed from the trailer.

Mr Crosbie said: “About 25 to 30 sheep died at the scene.

“The others were put on my station forecourt. They were in shock.

“The vet came to assess the injured sheep and a sheepdog eventually rounded them up and walked them up the road to the veterinary practice.”

Cars that had been valeted - and were ready for customers - have had to be cleaned again because of the mess the sheep left behind.

And a BMX X-5, belonging to Mr Crosbie’s business partner, Shaun Richardson, is currently being assessed by an insurance firm.

“It is not yet known if the vehicle, which has damage to its front end, will have to be written off.

“It was more the inconvenience than anything else,” said Mr Crosbie.

“We had to get the site cleaned so it is hygienic for customers and we’ve had to remove the blood and urine from some of the cars.

“We were on site until it was dark on Wednesday and we were back at work at 7am on Thursday.

“By Friday we were just starting to get back to normal.

“We had to wash and clean all the cars but we’ve still been able to trade and that’s the main thing.

“I’ve got children myself and I’m just glad that no one was seriously injured. The farmer was in shock.

“He was being followed by his brother in another vehicle. Both of them were shocked and panic stricken about their sheep.

“It was an accident but whether the trailer was overloaded or not I don’t know.”

A spokeswoman for Cumbria Police said they are investigating.