Police warn victim not to follow dangerous load

    The view from Mrs Childs car on Five Oak Green Road

    A WOMAN whose car was damaged by wood falling from an open-backed trailer was told by police to stop pursuing the truck.

    She believes the wood that came flying off the trailer ‘could have killed someone’ if it had hit a pedestrian.

    Clare Childs, a hair stylist from Tonbridge, was travelling along Quarry Hill Road at approximately 2.15pm, Monday February 20 when a large sheet of wood struck her car.

    She stopped and saw a pick-up truck with an unsecured load of wood in its trailer driving in the opposite direction. The vehicle, with a male driver and passenger did not stop, despite several other road users sounding their horns. Its registration plate was obscured by the trailer.

    Mrs Childs pursued the vehicle so that she could explain what had happened to the two men. After following them onto Pembury Road, they turned into Woodgate Way. This is when Mrs Childs used her hands-free phone to call the police.

    “I was advised by the police officer to stop following them and that they would send a police car out to pursue the truck,” she said, adding that she was told to call again if her car was damaged.

    After returning home, Mrs Childs discovered a large dent on the driver’s side panel.

    She called the police again: “I was informed by the female officer that the truck was ‘untraceable’.

    “I explained to her that I could give her my exact whereabouts during the incident and asked if they could review CCTV footage.

    “I was told that unless I could tell them exactly where the cameras were that there wasn’t anything else that they could do.

    “I was a little upset to say the least.”

    On Friday (February 24), Mrs Childs was told by police that they would review the CCTV but warned that it is difficult to catch registration numbers on cameras.

    A Kent Police spokesperson confirmed they had received Mrs Childs’ report, adding: “Officers attended the area and a search took place but the vehicle was not located. No injuries were reported and enquiries are ongoing.

    “The informant was advised not to follow the vehicle for safety reasons.” This was because of the continued danger of falling debris, rather than any concern about confrontation with the driver.