THE driver of a cement lorry said he was lucky to be alive after his vehicle overturned while he drove on to the A419.

The emergency services cut David Phillips out of the 32-ton lorry after it fell on to its side and the 47-year-old escaped with just a few cuts and bruises after the terrifying crash.

David said: “It could have been a lot worse and I’m glad that no-one else was hurt, it was very scary. The seatbelt stopped me from falling out. It saved my life., I’m very lucky.

“I would like to apologise to the local people for the chaos I caused on the roads that morning. It does show how important it is to wear your seatbelt.”

Wiltshire Police closed one lane on the A419 northbound between the Commonhead and White Hart roundabouts for around five hours from 9am on Thursday after the cement lorry overturned on the slip road.

Two crews of firefighters from Westlea and one from Stratton fire stations raced to the scene to rescue David from the cab. Heavy rescue units from Berkshire and Gloucestershire forensics brigades were called but did not need to be used. Two Green Meadow recovery vehicles helped right the lorry.

No concrete spilled on to the road but contractors had to clear spilled diesel.

David, from Wantage, added: “Thank you to the emergency services for getting me out and making sure I was okay. They had to cut me out but checked me before I was moved and then, with their assistance, I was able to climb out through the windscreen area that the rescue crews had removed.

Stratton fire station manager Sam Legg-Bagg assisted his fellow firefighters at the scene. He said: “When I arrived, paramedics, police and fire crews were already at the scene. It was good to see such a quick presence. The tricky thing with the vehicle being on its side was figuring out how to get access to the driver and carry out a thorough assessment.

“Working with paramedics, we got someone in through the sunroof and, after carrying out the assessment, removed the windscreen. After that, the options were to remove the roof or see if the driver had enough space to climb out through the removed windscreen section.”

“It’s always nice to have good feedback and it’s great to receive complements for the work we do, we are pleased that it all went well.”

David recalled the moments leading up to the cement lorry lurching to one side and crashing to the ground.

He added: “I was in the near-side line going onto the sliproad to deliver cement to Blunsdon but it never made it there.

“I took the corner a bit wide and noticed a car in the other lane so I turned the wheel away from it but over-steered, felt the lorry tip slightly and the cement in the back did the rest. It was an error of judgement and I’m thankful to the driver of the other vehicle for calling 999.”