Lewes man’s narrow escape from Shoreham Airshow tragedy

The scene of the crash involving a plane near Shoreham Airshow in West Sussex (@keirstanding/PA Wire) 8a422442-dd63-4a2b-b063-bd704a9c
The scene of the crash involving a plane near Shoreham Airshow in West Sussex (@keirstanding/PA Wire) 8a422442-dd63-4a2b-b063-bd704a9c

A LEWES writer has blogged about his narrow escape from the tragedy that befell his normal Saturday driving route along the A27 at Shoreham Airport yesterday (Saturday August 22).

Colin Bell, a novelist and poet know as the blogger Wolfie Wolfgang, said his usual Saturday would involve driving along the A27 to visit is mother in Worthing.

This week, however, he decided to avoid the busy traffic due to the annual Shoreham Airshow.

At about 1.20pm a vintage Hawker Hunter plane crashed during a loop-the-loop, hitting cars on the A27.

So far seven people have been confirmed dead, the pilot is suffering life threatening injuries and more than a dozen other people are injured.

“This is the route I often take at weekends when driving from my home in Lewes to visit my mother in Worthing,” Mr Bell said.

“I imagine that some of those killed yesterday were about just such a trip on a beautiful summer’s afternoon.

“We decided not to go this weekend because of the expected traffic build up around the Shoreham Air Show where you can often see the planes flying over head as you drive past. Instead of driving into that accident, I was sitting in my garden at home.”

One of Mr Bell’s sons rang to check he was all right.

“One of my sons rang telling me about this horrifying incident as he was worried that we mighty have been driving there at the time, “ he said.

“He reminded me that when he was young I’d said we wouldn’t go to an airshow because I’d told him that they were too dangerous.

“That may well have been over-cautious on my part but I do wonder about the wisdom of having risky aircraft gymnastics next to a busy major road.”

The former TV producer-director of arts programmes said: “My sympathies are with those who have lost friends and family and for all those who were injured or shocked by this terrible event.

“Hopefully, action will be taken to prevent similar incidents here in the future.

“I know that I’m not alone today feeling lucky but also oddly guilty about not making that journey yesterday.”

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