'Cars ploughed into each other like a concertina... it was horrific': Witnesses describe 'carnage' of 100-vehicle Sheppey car crash

Chris Parsons
News Editor

Eyewitnesses of the Sheppey car crash this morning have described how vehicles 'ploughed into each other like a concertina'.

A 100-vehicle pile-up on a bridge in heavy fog left at least six people seriously injured and 200 suffering minor wounds in what witnesses described as 'carnage'.

No one is believed to have died in the crash on the new Sheppey crossing bridge in Kent. It started at around 7.15am and continued for 10 minutes as cars and lorries crashed into each other in visibility that was down to 20 yards.

One witness, who would not be named, told Kent Online: 'There was debris on our side of the road from the accident, then we saw the first part of the crash - there was cars, lorries, vans, ploughed into each other like a concertina...I've never anything like this before in my life.'

Witness Martin Stammers, 45, from Minster, said: 'It's horrific. I've never seen anything like it in my life.

'All you could hear was cars crashing. We got out of our car and it was eerily quiet with visibility down to just 20 yards.

'Then you would hear the screeching of brakes and then a thud. It was all you could hear for about 10 minutes - crash after crash after crash.

'The whole top of the bridge is full of mangled cars and lorries. There are cars with their roofs ripped off - one is five feet in the air. There were a lot of people trapped.

'We managed to stop safely in time before the accident, but if we'd have been 10 seconds earlier we'd have been involved.'

Mr Stammers said he and his son James then ran to the other side of the carriageway and signalled to people to slow down.

Student Jaime Emmett, 19, was driving through the fog when she became involved in the pile-up.

'There was a man at the side of the road saying to stop. I stopped in time but a van smashed in to me and I smashed in to the car in front,' she said.

'I was lucky I was not injured. It was all quite surreal when it happened.'

Ms Emmett said the fog was so thick that you could only see a few cars in front but added: 'All I could hear was the cars smashing in front of each other and I could not know how far ahead the accident was.

'It was so foggy I could literally see two or three cars in front of me - that was it. Then I could literally see smashed cars everywhere and a lorry had smashed in to the central reservation as well.

Saying she was 'still quite shocked' as she stood amid the aftermath she noticed that the ambulances were on the scene straight away.

She said: 'By the time I got out of my car there was already an ambulance there. There was a man being taken off in a stretcher.

'I could see that everyone was shocked but they were just checking to see that everyone else was OK.

'It was surreal and it might have been worse but people were going slower because it was quite foggy.'

A lorry driver who saw the start of the accident used his truck to block the entrance to the bridge and stop more cars piling into the crash, a witness said.

A driver involved in the crash, Chris Buckingham, told Sky News: 'There was somebody, from what I've been told by the police there at the scene, who actually witnessed the first part of the accident, a lorry driver.

'He was going the other way and what he managed to do, which has probably saved lives, is he's gone down to the end of the carriageway, gone across the roundabout and actually blocked off the road so no more cars could actually enter the dual carriageway before the emergency services got there.

'Whoever that guy is I'd like to shake his hand because he's probably saved lives today.'