Milkman and daughter recall horror crash in Woodford New Road in Woodford Green

Milkman and daughter 'lucky to be alive' after horror crash

Milkman and daughter 'lucky to be alive' after horror crash

First published in Redbridge
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

A milkman says he and his daughter are lucky to be alive after he crashed his delivery van into the vehicle of a contractor who was cleaning up at the scene of another accident.

Sean Hawkes, 46, and his 21-year-old daughter Claire were on their way to Mr Hawkes’ milk round in Woodford when they crashed into the van on Woodford New Road, Woodford Green at around 3am on February 15.

The impact of the crash pinned a contractor who was dealing with the wreckage of a previous accident against railings and left Claire crushed by the battered dashboard of her dad’s van.

Mr Hawkes said: “His vehicle must have been parked across the first and second lane.

“But I didn’t see any cones to warn that anything was going on.

“All I remember is this almighty bang and then the next thing I recall is getting out of the van.

“I could hear Claire screaming and then I remember getting out and going to check on her.

“A member of the public was with her and for some reason I walked back to get my house keys. I wasn’t thinking straight at all.

“The man who had been cleaning up was in front of us shouting ‘get the vehicle off me!’ I tried to push it, but it wouldn’t budge.

“He started shouting ‘Get the keys!’ I tried a bunch but they didn’t work. Then I heard his engine start and the next thing I knew he was out and lying on the pavement.”

Bewildered and shocked, Mr Hawkes called his wife and went back to check on his daughter.

He said: “I didn’t know where I was or what was going on. I just kept thinking ‘What the hell is happening? What is this?’

“I saw Claire pinned in by the dashboard screaming, and I remember thinking ‘If she is screaming she is alive’ but then I thought ‘she won’t get out of this’ it was horrific. My head was just spinning.”

Fire crews and paramedics were quickly on the scene and cut Claire out of the vehicle.

Mr Hawkes said: “They were absolutely fantastic. There was a doctor and he said to me that he thought Claire’s injuries were not life-threatening – the relief just flowed through me.”

Miraculously, Claire escaped with a broken wrist, a badly bruised knee and some ligament damage while Mr Hawkes sustained nothing more than a badly bruised hand.

The contractor was taken to hospital with leg injuries and his condition is not known.

Claire remembers nothing of the incident.

She said: “The last thing I remember is leaving the depot. I don’t even remember the firemen cutting me out.

“The next thing I was leaving hospital. Everything inbetween is just blank.

“But dad told me about the member of the public who stayed with me and I would love to know who he was so I can thank him.

“I do feel like we were very lucky to get out.”

The Guardian is awaiting a statement from Redbridge Police.

Comments (13)

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2:26pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

The peril of night driving and medical conditions:

http://www.iovs.org/
content/53/6/2586.fu
ll.pdf
The peril of night driving and medical conditions: http://www.iovs.org/ content/53/6/2586.fu ll.pdf Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Alan_1976 says...

I think you must have commented on the wrong article. There are no mentions of medical conditions in this article.
I think you must have commented on the wrong article. There are no mentions of medical conditions in this article. Alan_1976
  • Score: 0

10:20am Tue 19 Feb 13

Thunderbird4 says...

Perhaps there was no street lighting on at this point in the road. I recall it was very dark when I passed it at about 1am; and I did drive very slowly to see exactly where to go as only one of the three lanes was open.
Perhaps there was no street lighting on at this point in the road. I recall it was very dark when I passed it at about 1am; and I did drive very slowly to see exactly where to go as only one of the three lanes was open. Thunderbird4
  • Score: 0

10:28am Tue 19 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

There was no less lighting as there has been in recent years, some people are affected adversely by night driving and should have their eyes tested.
There was no less lighting as there has been in recent years, some people are affected adversely by night driving and should have their eyes tested. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

12:07pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Alan_1976 says...

Cornbeefur wrote:
There was no less lighting as there has been in recent years, some people are affected adversely by night driving and should have their eyes tested.
If you have specific medical information about the people involved in this accident then you should forward it to the police.
[quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: There was no less lighting as there has been in recent years, some people are affected adversely by night driving and should have their eyes tested.[/p][/quote]If you have specific medical information about the people involved in this accident then you should forward it to the police. Alan_1976
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Thunderbird4 says...

Cornbeefur wrote:
There was no less lighting as there has been in recent years, some people are affected adversely by night driving and should have their eyes tested.
How do you know about the lighting conditions at the scene of the accident?

The accident it'self has not been reported; do I assume you are a police officer who attended the scene?
[quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: There was no less lighting as there has been in recent years, some people are affected adversely by night driving and should have their eyes tested.[/p][/quote]How do you know about the lighting conditions at the scene of the accident? The accident it'self has not been reported; do I assume you are a police officer who attended the scene? Thunderbird4
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

Thunderbird4 wrote:
Cornbeefur wrote:
There was no less lighting as there has been in recent years, some people are affected adversely by night driving and should have their eyes tested.
How do you know about the lighting conditions at the scene of the accident?

The accident it'self has not been reported; do I assume you are a police officer who attended the scene?
There would have many other vehicles including buses whose drivers would have seen and avoided the contractor before Mr Hawkes.

If it was not reported it should have been as it was quite a serious incident and offences may have been revealed.

Typical, the closed Woodford Station a few hundred yards away.
[quote][p][bold]Thunderbird4[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: There was no less lighting as there has been in recent years, some people are affected adversely by night driving and should have their eyes tested.[/p][/quote]How do you know about the lighting conditions at the scene of the accident? The accident it'self has not been reported; do I assume you are a police officer who attended the scene?[/p][/quote]There would have many other vehicles including buses whose drivers would have seen and avoided the contractor before Mr Hawkes. If it was not reported it should have been as it was quite a serious incident and offences may have been revealed. Typical, the closed Woodford Station a few hundred yards away. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

3:54pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Thunderbird4 says...

I saw a blue vehicle on its side, in the centre lane and what looked like clothes, laid out on the road, forming the shape of a person. Was anyone killed?
I saw a blue vehicle on its side, in the centre lane and what looked like clothes, laid out on the road, forming the shape of a person. Was anyone killed? Thunderbird4
  • Score: 0

8:00pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

Thunderbird4 wrote:
I saw a blue vehicle on its side, in the centre lane and what looked like clothes, laid out on the road, forming the shape of a person. Was anyone killed?
What?

Did your crystal ball not tell?
[quote][p][bold]Thunderbird4[/bold] wrote: I saw a blue vehicle on its side, in the centre lane and what looked like clothes, laid out on the road, forming the shape of a person. Was anyone killed?[/p][/quote]What? Did your crystal ball not tell? Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Thunderbird4 says...

I am unable to look into the future right now, my crystal ball is at the menders.

Are you saying someone was killed, and it wasn't reported?
I am unable to look into the future right now, my crystal ball is at the menders. Are you saying someone was killed, and it wasn't reported? Thunderbird4
  • Score: 0

1:41pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

Thunderbird4 wrote:
I am unable to look into the future right now, my crystal ball is at the menders.

Are you saying someone was killed, and it wasn't reported?
No, someone said it was not reported which is a surprise as it was quite a bad accident on an open road, the site of another accident a little while previous.

Nobody was killed apparently, thank god.
[quote][p][bold]Thunderbird4[/bold] wrote: I am unable to look into the future right now, my crystal ball is at the menders. Are you saying someone was killed, and it wasn't reported?[/p][/quote]No, someone said it was not reported which is a surprise as it was quite a bad accident on an open road, the site of another accident a little while previous. Nobody was killed apparently, thank god. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Thunderbird4 says...

I understand no one was killed in the second accident, but was anyone killed in the first accident at the same place? (This accident, not being reported by the press.)
I understand no one was killed in the second accident, but was anyone killed in the first accident at the same place? (This accident, not being reported by the press.) Thunderbird4
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

Thunderbird4 wrote:
I understand no one was killed in the second accident, but was anyone killed in the first accident at the same place? (This accident, not being reported by the press.)
I do not think so but cannot be certain.
[quote][p][bold]Thunderbird4[/bold] wrote: I understand no one was killed in the second accident, but was anyone killed in the first accident at the same place? (This accident, not being reported by the press.)[/p][/quote]I do not think so but cannot be certain. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

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