Runaway lorry rolls downhill with unconscious driver in A23 drama

Sussex Police
Sussex Police

Quick-thinking police officers leapt into action when a 7.5-tonne lorry rolled downhill on the A23 with the driver unconscious at the wheel.

The three hero officers climbed into both sides of the lorry’s cab as it travelled backwards on the dual carriageway.

One of the officers rammed his hand onto the foot brake while another managed to pull an air brake and the third tried to rouse the lorry driver.

The terrifying incident happened at around 4.40pm yesterday on the A23 at Handcross Hill.

The three officers have now been commended for their bravery.

A police spokesman said the officers were on duty dealing with an unrelated incident when they became aware of the heavy goods vehicle as it started to slow significantly on its ascent of the northbound carriageway.

Said a spokesman:”They pulled alongside the vehicle and noticed the driver appeared to be unconscious at the wheel.

“Fearing he was not in proper control, all three officers stopped in the carriageway and entered both sides of the cab – one attempted to rouse the driver, another applied pressure with his hand on the foot brake, and the third managed to pull the air brake.”

After bringing the lorry to a safe stop, the officers got the driver out of the cab and managed to revive him on the side of the road before he was checked over by paramedics.

PC Liz Daddy, of the Roads Policing Unit, said: “While the exact circumstances are unclear at this stage, it appears the HGV was involved in a collision with two other vehicles shortly before the incident.

“However, we are continuing to investigate and we are thankful no one was seriously injured.

“I have no doubt that without the quick-thinking heroics of these three officers, this incident could have been far worse than it was.

“Had they not been in the right place at the right time, and acted on their instincts, the lorry would have continued to roll down the hill.

“I’d personally like to commend the officers for their bravery and professionalism, and ultimately preventing a potentially major incident from occurring.”