A man was airlifted to hospital and is critically ill after his van crossed onto the wrong side of an A-road, collided head-on with a Mercedes and overturned.
The smash happened on the A4146 Hemel Hempstead Road at its junction with Pedley Hill and Hudnall Lane, near Little Gaddesden, at about 5.40pm yesterday.
And it is not the first major accident to have taken place at the junction, which has been branded ‘lethal’ by others who have had accidents there.
In yesterday’s smash, the white Peugeot partner van was heading south-east along the Hemel Hempstead Road when it crossed, for unknown reasons, into the opposite carriageway.
The van’s 36-year-old driver, who lives in Bucks, was taken by helicopter to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
The 64-year-old driver of the Mercedes C200, who lives Leighton Buzzard, suffered minor injuries and was taken to the Luton & Dunstable Hospital – but has since been released.
The Hemel Hempstead Road was closed for around four hours to allow the vehicles to be recovered and for police investigations to take place.
PC Terry Nesbitt said: “I would appeal to anyone who saw the collision and who may have been concerned at the nature of how the van was being driven and who has not yet spoken with police to contact us.
“I am also keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the van travelling south east along the A4146 at any point prior to the accident.”
Police are calling for witnesses and anyone with any information about what happened to contact them on 101, quoting reference number 648 of July 23.
Central Beds Council – which is responsible for it – said in December that there have been just five recorded injuries caused by accidents there in the last five years.
At that time, spokesman Anna Copperwheat said: “Cutting road traffic accidents is a priority of ours which we take very seriously.”
She said at the time of Mrs Berry’s death, the council worked with the police and thoroughly examined their report and the recent accident history of the junction.
She said: “It was found that no further action was needed at this particular location.”
People who live nearby, however, say the junction is dangerous because of two blind bends nearby on the Hemel Hempstead Road, where the speed limit is 60mph.