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I was almost impaled after skid on icy road
A DRIVER who skidded on a treacherous patch of black ice feared he could have been impaled on a fence post.
Marlon Topliss has spoken of the terrifying moment his car spun out of control on the A443 outside Hallow, near Grimley, demolishing a fence, hitting a concrete post and narrowly missing a lorry travelling in the opposite direction.
Mr Topliss, aged 43, of Baskerville Road, Kidderminster, spun his Hyundai Amica between 5am and 6am on Monday, January 15. He fears someone could be “killed or injured” if action is not taken.
He was not injured in the crash but the left passenger side of his car was damaged and the vehicle written-off.
Mr Topliss has blamed run-off water freezing on the road. Worcestershire County Council has said the ice was caused by water leaking out of a manhole cover. They have removed tree roots and put down extra grit to improve safety.
Mr Topliss, who was driving towards Hallow, near Worcester, from Kidderminster at the time of the accident, said: “I believe that there has been numerous accidents over the past weeks, at least three on the same day as mine, due to the poor road conditions and that the residents believe that it has been like this for months. Surely it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or even killed. The highways department or council must be aware of the situation by now.”
Describing the accident he said he was driving at between 35mph and 40mph. He said: “I spun off the road and the car is now written off. I went across the carriageway, across the grass verge and through a fence. The only thing that stopped me going into a garden was a concrete post. I was quite fortunate I was not impaled on the fence timber.”
When he returned to the scene later that day he saw another accident at the same spot. He saw a motorcycle on its side and a VW Golf GTI with heavy front-end damage.
Mr Topliss, a project manager for a sewage equipment contractor, is still in talks with his insurer.
Jon Fraser, Worcestershire County Council’s highways manager, said: “We were made aware of the issue on the A443 in Grimley when a resident reported the problem on January 24.
“We responded promptly by putting up either ‘flood warning’ or ‘ice warning’ signs dependent on road and weather conditions to warn road users of the increased risk as well as putting down additional grit treatment on this section of road when road surface temperatures dropped.
“Following an investigation, the source of the problem was attributed to water discharging from a manhole and running on to a section of the road. This was resolved by clearing tree roots that were submerged below the manhole cover.
“I would like to thank the resident who spent their time in bringing this to our attention. We will continue to monitor the manhole and surrounding highway to prevent any repeat of the problem.”
People can report a highways problem by visiting worcestershire.gov.uk/ reportit .