18:00 Thursday 20 February 2014

Witness plea by cops after A444 bike crash

Written byROB SMYTH

POLICE have launched an appeal for witnesses following a crash which left a motorcyclist fighting for his life.

Derbyshire Police issued the plea after revealing that the 19-year-old, from Swadlincote, was still in a ‘critical’ condition in hospital.

The biker had to be airlifted to hospital after a crash involving a lorry on the A444 on Wednesday morning.

A spokesman for the force told the Mail: “The man involved is still in hospital and is now in a critical but stable condition.

“At this stage, his injuries no longer seem to be life threatening.

“We are now starting to piece together what happened on the morning of the crash and would ask any witnesses who live by or drivers who may have seen the accident take place to get in touch with any information, no matter how significant.”

Traffic was left at a standstill for nearly an hour after police officers were forced to close the road just after 7.15am on Wednesday.

This latest accident comes only weeks after there was a serious accident in almost the exact same place.

Firefighters had to cut the roofs off two cars to rescue two people after a crash involving a Fiesta, Focus and a Citroen Picasso, on the road in December.

The move prompted councillors Kevin Richards and Sean Bambrick, who both represent Stanton and Newhall on South Derbyshire District Council, to contact Derbyshire County Council to raise the issue of safety improvements along the stretch, which traverses Woodland and Burton Road.

Councillor Bambrick said: “There is a speed indicator going down towards The Gate Inn but the problem is at the top where the road narrows down. It really needs a speed indicator maybe at the top of the hill.

“Coming down the hill there is a speed camera but then you can pick up speed going down the hill.”

Last week, the Mail revealed that calls for road safety improvements further along the A444 had fallen on deaf ears.

Highways chiefs dismissed concerns raised by the public for changes to speed limits where High Cross Bank island, in Castle Gresley, merges with the bypass.

Calls were also made for speed cameras near to the latest crash site.

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