Mum and son’s narrow escape in Cromer lorry smash drama

The lorry comes to a halt against the canopy. Jo Clarke and her son had been standing to the left of

The lorry comes to a halt against the canopy. Jo Clarke and her son had been standing to the left of the fresh ground coffee sign. Picture: JO CLARKE - Credit: Archant

A mother was left shocked and shaken after a lorry smashed into a seaside restaurant canopy only feet away from where she and her son were standing.

Jo Clarke and her 12-year-old son Sam watched in disbelief as the large Lafarge Tarmac lorry swung round a hairpin bend and collided with the canopy which overhung the front of the fish and chip restaurant where they were queueing.

Mrs Clarke believes the canopy saved the pair from being struck and seriously injured by the lorry.

The force of the collision smashed the vehicle's sun visor and is understood to have damaged its windscreen too.

The drama happened shortly before noon yesterdayoutside the No 1 restaurant at the junction of New Street, Cromer, and the Melbourne slope which leads down to the promenade.

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The resort was crowded with Easter holiday visitors and the lorry was among vehicles heading for the promenade where civil engineering firm VolkerStevin is in the final stages of an £8m contract to strengthen the resort's sea defences.

Mrs Clarke and Sam were outside the front door of No 1, waiting for it to open at noon, when the lorry tried to negotiate the tight bend from the coast road, along New Street and down the Melbourne slope.

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'The driver looked a bit worried. I thought he would reverse but the lorry kept coming forward - it looked as if it was coming for us,' said Mrs Clarke who was still shaking more than an hour after the accident.

'There was a horrible crash as it hit the canopy and we dived out of the way.

'If the canopy hadn't stopped it, I think we would have been squashed.'

The pair, visiting from their home in Horsford, had been standing only about five feet from where the lorry struck.

A spokesman for No 1, owned by celebrity chef Galton Blackiston, said the canopy had been struck by lorries on two previous occasions, but both had been when the restaurant had been closed.

The canopy, which appeared undamaged after the latest incident, had needed rebuilding after one collision.

A spokesman for VolkerStevin said: 'We apologise for any distress caused by the incident. We are currently investigating the cause and speaking with those involved.'

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