Update: Driver in mid 80s escaped unhurt after drama at Swaffham supermarket petrol station

The car which crashed at the Waitrose garage at Swaffham. Picture: Rob Craigan The car which crashed at the Waitrose garage at Swaffham. Picture: Rob Craigan

Monday, October 22, 2012
5:48 PM

A woman driver in her mid 80s crashed through a hedge and on to a metal cage storing gas containers at the Waitrose supermarket petrol station at Swaffham.

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The pensioner - who told bystanders that she had been driving all her life and had never had an accident - escaped injury but was left shaken by the crash.

None of the cylinders leaked or burst despite the impact.

Police and two fire crews from Swaffham and Massingham were called to the scene at Castle Acre Road at about 11.45am yesterday and the forecourt was shut as a precaution.

Eye witnesses said the driver of the Ford Fusion had got petrol from the pumps.

She then appeared to have put her foot on the accelerator and she went across the forecourt, through a hedge and landed on the galvanised metal container with gas bottles in it.

The car was at an angle and partly off the ground and the driver had to be helped out and Waitrose first aiders attended to her.

Rob Craigan, of Ivy Todd, Necton, near Swaffham, who was on his way to the supermarket, said: “It was a real drama and there was chaos there.”

Another person who was at the scene, John Stewart, said: “I found that Waitrose staff immediately took control of the situation including arriving traffic, whilst the fire service and police were seen to be acting in a calm and professional way. Even the business of the supermarket continued virtually uninterrupted.”

Police said the woman was shaken but not injured. Officers remained at the scene diverting traffic away from the garage and assisted in the recovery of the vehicle.

A spokesman said further inquiries would be made in to the cause of the accident,

A fire service spokesman said the crews made sure the bottles had not leaked or burst and made the car safe.

A Waitrose spokesman said: “The protective cage did its job protecting the gas cylinders and our petrol filling station was briefly closed for 30 minutes while the driver’s vehicle was recovered.

“Waitrose staff were first on the scene to make it safe, with first aiders attending to our customer to ensure she was well and calling the emergency services.

“Most importantly nobody was injured and I would like to thank staff and the emergency services for the commendable way they responded to this.”

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