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Woman’s narrow escape as lorry smashes into North Walsham shop

PUBLISHED: 16:13 02 May 2013 | UPDATED: 16:13 02 May 2013

The dangling length of timber which almost hit a passer-by is clearly visible in this photo taken shortly after an articulated lorry hit Smith's Jeweller and Pawnbroker in North Walsham town centre. Photo: DAVE ROBERTSON

The dangling length of timber which almost hit a passer-by is clearly visible in this photo taken shortly after an articulated lorry hit Smith's Jeweller and Pawnbroker in North Walsham town centre. Photo: DAVE ROBERTSON

Archant

A passer-by narrowly escaped serious injury after a lorry smashed into a North Walsham town-centre shop earlier today.

The middle-aged woman ducked as a large length of timber fell from roof level, missing her head by centimetres, according to shop owner Christopher Smith.

The articulated vehicle was trying to negotiate the tight and narrow bend at the corner of Market Place and Market Street when it struck Smith’s Jeweller and Pawnbroker at about 11.40am.

Mr Smith, who was inside the shop at the time, said the impact had sent timbers from the roof-level facade cascading down.

“I just heard a crunch and a tearing sound. I looked round and there was a lady standing in front of the window. A couple of big bits of timber just missed her shoulders,” he said.

“Another piece, about 10ft long and a foot thick, fell but got caught in brackets and was left suspended at head height. I saw her bob down and I thought it had hit her head.”

Mr Smith rushed outside and asked the woman if she was all right. She appeared shaken but unhurt.

He then went inside to phone the police and when he returned the woman had disappeared.

The incident blocked the road for about half an hour on the town’s busy market day.

Mr Smith said the driver of the large Nisa lorry said he had got lost trying to deliver to Roys variety store in the town.

“It’s a yearly occurrence for the shop to get clipped,” he added. “I had a Land Rover through the front windows about four years ago.”

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