Woman (40) crushed to death after generator fell off lorry as she 'walked her dog'
Published 09/08/2016 | 08:06
A 40-year-old woman was crushed to death by a generator that fell off the back of a truck in a quiet village on Monday morning.
A man, 44, was also hit and was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.
Neighbours said the man and woman were a couple who had been out walking their dog when the large machine fell from a Ford transit flatbed lorry shortly before 7am.
Commuters walking to the station reportedly performed CPR and first aid on the pair, who have not been named, before paramedics arrived.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene near a railway crossing on the High Street in Etchingham, Sussex.
Witnesses said another man leaped from the pavement over a church wall to escape the machine.
A 42-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
Paul Hunt, who arrived shortly after the incident, said he saw the generator lying on the pavement.
"It also had a large pneumatic breaker attached to it," he said.
"The lorry was parked up past the level crossing. "The injured man was on all fours and had a head wound.
"The lady was in bad shape - she was lying on her back and was having trouble breathing."
South East Coast Ambulance Service sent three ambulances, four cars and an air ambulance to the emergency, but a spokesman said: "Sadly, despite best efforts, a woman died at the scene."
Parish councillor Mary Barnes , who lives in the village, said she heard about the accident after arriving home from a weekend away.
She said: "It is a small village. Everyone knows everyone. There are only 650 people on the electoral roll. So chances are we will know who it is, and we are waiting now to find out."
Annette Childs, vice chairman of the parish council, said the village was shocked by the news.
She said: "We understand the people involved were local.
"It's very tragic, just horrendous. It's really shocked the village because we're very tight knit. A lot of people walk around here and people do get to know one another. So it will have a knock on effect."
One resident, who did not give their name, said: "It was a husband and wife out walking their dog.
"We are quite a close-knit community and everybody is just really sad for them. We are all in shock."
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: "Emergency services were called to a report of a generator having fallen off a Ford transit flatbed lorry and hit two pedestrians in Etchingham High Street near the railway station level crossing just before 6.55am on Monday (8 August).
"A 40-year-old woman sadly died at the scene. A man aged 44 was also suffered serious injuries and was flown to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton. He is in a stable condition.
"A 42-year-old man from Ashford Kent, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and is in custody."