Serious accident on marsh road with two bikers hurt

The A259 Marsh Road near Middle Bridge
The A259 Marsh Road near Middle Bridge

Two French bikers were seriously injured following a crash with a car and a van on Tuesday on the notorious marsh road.

Emergency services - including four ambulances - rushed to the major accident scene on the A259 on August 26 just after 10.30am.

However they had trouble communicating with the victims until an unknown member of the public stepped forward to help. He was able to speak French and passed on vital information to firefighters from Bexhill and Pevensey, police and paramedics.

The A259 has been the scene of many accidents but this happened on the stretch approaching Middlebridge.

The motorbikes were travelling in the Eastbourne direction and the collision happened when a blue Honda Jazz collided with the Harley Davidson, then span and collided with a white Citroen Relay van going towards Hastings which then hit the other motorbike.

The bikers were a 40 year old man and a 48 year old woman, both from France, who were taken to the trauma care unit at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

The 26 year old male passenger of the van, from Hastings, suffered from pain in his back and ribs while a fourth person, female, was taken to the Conquest Hospital and, like him, appeared shaken.

Crew Commander Dean Mcfaite of Bexhill fire station described that stretch of road as “one of our blackspots” because of the small hump which does not allow clear vision, and he added that judging speed accurately was also difficult.

His team included Graham Leggett who is specially trained in trauma and he liaised with the lead paramedics. Their concern was mainly with the female bike rider who seemed most badly injured.

He commented: “We were very thankful for a member of the public presenting himself who was able to speak fluent French. Our communication between the team members and the patients was limited until then, we didn’t have a clear understanding, so we were very thankful to him. He was a couple of cars back and he saw the number plates so he thought on his feet and came forward. It made communication very good.”

He warned drivers on the A259 to be wary of motorbikes - especially with foreign riders who might not have experience of the area - and also to be careful to consider road conditions, with the surface on Tuesday “greasy” because of rain.

However Sgt Dave Morgan denied there was any particular cause or issue of the A259 that caused problems for drivers though he added: “Factors that contribute to recent collisions include inappropriate overtaking, poor decisions when pulling out of junctions and lack of drivers’ concentration.“

Sussex Police are now appealing for witnesses to the accident to come forward - contact via email at quoting Op Exbourne.