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Police continue to investigate M20 bridge collapse at J4 Leybourne

By David Gazet

A man is set to appear in court in connection with a crash that led to the M20 bridge collapse.

Police have been investigating how a lorry carrying a digger struck and brought down the pedestrian footbridge over the motorway.

The incident happened on August 27, and showered 170 tonnes of concrete and onto the London-bound carriageway at junction 4 (Leybourne). It caused a major incident on one of the busiest bank holidays of the year when the road was being used by millions of drivers.

An aerial view of the scene. Picture: NPAS Redhill
An aerial view of the scene. Picture: NPAS Redhill

Today, a 63 year-old man from Darlington was issued with a summons to appear before Maidstone Magistrates’ Court on February 17.

He is set to be charged with dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and three counts of criminal damage.

The criminal damage charges include damage to the bridge and to vehicles nearby.

Two lorries were crushed and a 73-year-old motorcyclist Jim Shaw was left with broken ribs after throwing himself clear of the avalanche.

The incident sparked a major joint operation involving dozens of police officers, 25 firefighters, an ambulance and paramedic car as well as the air ambulance.

Heavy machinery brought in along the A20 where a footbridge collapsed, to clear the debri and the rest of the bridge. Picture By: John Westhrop FM4488367
Heavy machinery brought in along the A20 where a footbridge collapsed, to clear the debri and the rest of the bridge. Picture By: John Westhrop FM4488367

The fallen sections were cut up and loaded by heavy-duty cranes drafted in from across southern England onto lorries. There were taken to several Highways England depots where they were made available to investigators.

After a successful multi-million pound repairs made by workers toiling through the night, little evidence remains of just how close the county came to a major tragedy.

Officers from Kent Police have been carrying out an investigation, in the five months since it happened.

Highways England, the government agency responsible for maintaining the country's motorway and A road network, said it is awaiting the outcome of the probe before it decides whether to begin its own enquiries.

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