Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

WINTER TAKES A GRIP; Man Trapped under Car in Chaos on Roads

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

WINTER TAKES A GRIP; Man Trapped under Car in Chaos on Roads

Article excerpt


HEAVY snowfalls caused chaos across Teesside today as the worst national snowfall for 18 years hit the country.

One man was trapped under his vehicle for 45 minutes after skidding off the A19 in the treacherous conditions.

Schools were closed, trains and planes were delayed and police had to deal with a number of road traffic incidents.

On the A19 southbound at the junction with Wolviston services, a 36-year-old man suffered serious injuries to his right arm after his car came off the road at 6.05am.

He was trapped under his Ford Focus for 45 minutes before being freed by the firefighters and taken to the University Hospital of North Tees.

Leven Bank in Yarm was closed after a car crashed into parked vehicle at 6.55am.

Traffic was reduced to 10mph in places with particular congestion on the A174 Parkway, the A171 near Guisborough and the A167 near Darlington.

One motorist reported carefully negotiating "treacherous" Leven Bank at 7am, but that road was closed soon after.

There were also delays at Durham and Tees Valley Airport which had to cancel a flight to Amsterdam.

Problems with signalling caused delays of up to an hour with trains between Saltburn and Middlesbrough leaving commuters shivering in the snow.

The icy blast caused school closures across Teesside and North Yorkshire and Middlesbrough Council education buses cancelled all of today's services.

Brotton Library was closed today as the building stands within Freebrough College.

The snow showers were forecast to continue on Teesside today with rain, sleet and snow expected tonight and tomorrow.

A Redcar and Cleveland Council spokesman said gritting teams worked overnight to make all roads passable with care.

But he added some motorists were putting themselves and others at risk by not driving to the conditions.

He said: "Gritting started yesterday afternoon and has been ongoing through the night.

"It will remain that way on our shift system until the weather improves."

Reporting several inches of snow in places, especially in outlying areas, he added: "Gritter drivers are reporting seeing poor driving standards - cars that haven't had their windscreens cleared, driving too fast and driving too close to the car in front. Our message is simple - drivers should drive in accordance with the conditions.

In these conditions, that means slow down, keep your distance and take extreme care."

A spokesman for Stockton Council said: "We had gritters out from 4pm to 4am and we have eight ready to go back out today."

A spokesman for Middlesbrough Council said: "We were as fully prepared as we could be for last night's snowfall, with all major routes gritted at 6pm, 2am and again at 4.30am.

"Most of the borough's main roads are passable with care. …

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