Six killed in collision on country road

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The Independent Online

A head-on collision between a minibus carrying overseas workers and two lorries left six people dead and three injured yesterday on a country road.

The accident, described by one police officer as the worst he had seen, happened when the minibus tried to overtake two vehicles at about 5am on the A52 in Lincolnshire. Police said they believed the minibus tried to pass an oil tanker and a lorry and hit another HGV, which was hit from behind by another truck.

Chief Superintendent Dave Wheeler of Lincolnshire Police said: "It's a scene of carnage. We know there are six confirmed dead. We are trying to establish identity."

Rescue workers spent most of the day recovering bodies of victims from the minibus. It was ferrying men of mixed nationalities from Grantham to Mansfield. Five passengers in the minibus died. Two of the three injured, a Hungarian and a Portuguese, were treated for whiplash and a broken leg. The other person killed was an HGV driver employed by Hovis. None of the dead has been named.

Brian Thompson, the driver of one of the lorries caught up in the crash, said: "I looked in my mirror and saw a lorry's headlights half way down the side of my trailer, and I thought to myself then, 'We got no chance here, something's got to go'."

Mary Williams, chief executive of the national road safety charity Brake, said: "If this devastating crash in Lincolnshire is due to dangerous overtaking, the Government must ask serious questions about what more it can do to stop this lethal behaviour."

She added: "There is no government advertising campaign about the dangers of overtaking, despite the fact that many of our roads are bendy, narrow, and often wet, with a limit of 60mph, only 10mph slower than a motorway."