The driver of a van suffered only minor injuries despite a dramatic crash on the M40 near Banbury yesterday, Tuesday in which his vehicle became airborne.
Firefighters from Banbury, Deddington and Hook Norton were called to the motorway, between Junction 11 at Banbury and Junction 12, at Gaydon, at around 4.15pm and found a trail of destruction between the hard shoulder and over 25 metres across the embankment.
They found vehicle parts, work tools and broken fences strewn across the area, as well as a wooden electricity pole that had been snapped in half – but initially, no sign of a vehicle.
Only when crews climbed to the top of the embankment did the van come into sight some 25m away from the carriageway.
West Midlands Ambulance Service helped firefighters remove the driver from the van and took him back to the ambulance which was waiting on the carriageway.
Warwickshire Police were also on the scene and the electricity distribution company was told about the broken powerline so its engineers could make the area safe.
Station manager David Bray who attended the incident said: “When I first saw the van I was very concerned as to the state that we might find any of the occupants. I am astounded the driver has escaped this incident with relatively minor injuries.
“It looks like the van has gone airborne as it got to the top of the embankment, hit the power lines that are carrying electricity at 11,000 volts, and then came crashing back down to earth rolling several times before coming to rest. The amount of tools that were thrown out of the vehicle just shows how important it is to secure any load, as even the smallest of items in a car or van can become a lethal projectile in the event of a crash”.
Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service advises everyone to take extra care when driving during the current spell of rapidly changing weather conditions, where you can be in bright sunshine one moment, and then torrential rain the next.