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Lorry driver in M3 attack

A LORRY driver narrowly escaped serious injury on Sunday when a rock hit his vehicle after it was thrown from a bridge on the M3 motorway near Farnborough.

Just a few weeks after 53-year-old Michael Little was murdered by a brick thrown from a bridge over the M3 near Camberley, Sunday’s incident left the roof of the lorry damaged but the driver uninjured.

The 51-year-old Salisbury man was driving the Iveco cargo lorry in lane one of the southbound carriageway at about 8.30pm when a rock was thrown from the Medway Drive side of the Fintry Walk bridge in Farnborough.

Shocked but uninjured the driver managed to pull on to the hard shoulder.

An off-duty soldier from 22 engineering regiment at Tidworth was driving along the road allegedly saw a youth throw the rock from the bridge.

He pulled on to the hard shoulder to chase the youngster and detained a 12-year-old youth until police arrived.

A 12-year-old Farnborough boy and a 14-year-old Sandhurst girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have been charged with criminal damage and destroying property with the intent to endanger life.

They have been bailed to appear before Basingstoke Youth Court on Wednesday May 14.

A father of one, Mr Little was killed on March 21 when a brick was thrown from a footbridge spanning the M3 at the end of Brackendale Close in Camberley.

The house brick smashed through the windscreen of his 44 tonne lorry and hit his chest, causing heart failure.

A murder hunt was launched following the incident and repeated appeals for witnesses have been made.

But despite the £25,000 being offered by Mr Little’s employer, Ford, house to house inquiries and leaflets being dropped through letterboxes in a bid to jog people’s memories, the killer has yet to be found.

In 1996 Simon Willmott, a 23-year-old from Bagshot, was nearly killed when a lump of concrete thrown from a bridge over the M3 near Hook smashed through his car windscreen and hit him in the chest.

A 16-year-old was later charged but magistrates threw the case out.

Det Con Mike Koshal, who is leading the investigation into the latest incident in Farnborough, is now working with Surrey police to address the problem.

He said on Wednesday: “This is the third incident of this nature in the last two or three years.

One of those has been fatal, another left a man with very serious injuries and we were lucky nobody was injured on Sunday.

“It just seems, I don’t know why, that this particular stretch of motorway between junction five and junction three is getting too many incidents of rocks or objects being thrown off bridges. It’s becoming quite a concern. We’re looking at it and collating the information and we will be considering measures to try to make these bridges safe for pedestrians and motorists.”

He added: “The volume of traffic makes the M3 one of the busiest motorways in the country and it’s quite frightening when you consider the number of bridges there are and how dangerous it is.

“The implications are very, very serious and we can not put this message across in any stronger terms but to say that this activity could lead to multiple fatalities.

“This is not a matter that we take lightly because people’s lives are at stake. Let there be no doubt that anyone who carries out an act like this will be dealt with strongly and we will throw the full force of legislation at them. If we see any repeat of such incidents we will go to whatever lengths are needed to ensure prosecution takes place.”

AA spokeswoman Rebecca Rees said: “This comes hot on the heels of a fatal bridge bombing incident which people are not going to forget in a hurry but I think we need to keep it in perspective.

“You are still much more likely to have an accident through driving too fast or drink driving and this kind of thing, along with road rage, is really very rare. We certainly don’t want any accidents to happen because people are looking up at bridges rather than on the road.

“None the less it is a problem that the police need to sort out. I think the government and Highways Agency can also play a part in looking at bridges, perhaps encasing them or making the barriers higher.

“Closed circuit television helps and I think we need more of that.” Any witnesses to the incident on Sunday evening are asked to contact Det Con Mike Koshal at Aldershot CID on 0845 045 45 45 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Joshua Smith
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet & Yateley Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
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