Wrong way drive causes A1 pile-up

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MOTORISTS had a lucky escape today after a driver caused a multiple pile-up on the A1 while driving the wrong way up the road during morning rush hour.

The motorist was involved in a head-on collision while driving north up the southbound carriageway.

At least three other cars then crashed into the wreckage, creating a pile-up that caused chaos and led to major delays.

But the driver who caused the smash by driving the wrong way up the road suffered only minor injuries, and is now receiving treatment at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. One other casualty was taken to ERI with injuries which are not thought to be life-threatening.

A second accident happened minutes after as a car ploughed into the queue of traffic.

Police, fire and ambulance crews rushed to the scene at Bankton Junction, near Tranent, just before 8am. They are now trying to find out why the driver was travelling the wrong way up the dual carriageway.

Initial reports suggested that the driver had taken a wrong turn at the Bankton Junction and came down the ramp on to the A1 the wrong way.

A police spokesman said: "There has been a multiple pile-up. It is all over the place at the moment.

"We know that five vehicles are involved in the accident. We have reports of a car going the wrong way up the southbound carriageway. We do not know why.

"Two people have been injured but there injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

"The southbound carriageway has been closed leading to very long tailbacks."

A fire service spokeswoman confirmed reports that the car had been travelling the wrong way up the road, and added: "Several cars were involved in the first accident and there are two casualties confirmed.

"A second accident took place about a quarter of a mile nearer Edinburgh when a car failed to stop and ploughed into the queue of traffic. We have fire crews with cutting gear at the scene of the accident."

An ambulance spokesman confirmed that a man and a woman had been taken to ERI.

The spokesman added: "The man has head injuries, but they do not appear serious at the moment.

"The woman suffered several injuries to her legs and body, but none of them are life threatening. We do not know which of the casualties was driving the wrong way up the road.

"Clearly this could have been a lot worse than it turned out."

Fire crews were attempting to clear wreckage from the road earlier today in a bid to get the southbound lane reopened.

Diversions were put in place as tailbacks stretched back for more than a mile towards Edinburgh.

The incident came the week after another lucky escape on the same road in East Lothian.

An East Linton family was left homeless after an Army lorry ploughed into their home after clipping a kerb on the A1.

George Scott, 49, his wife Anne, 51, and their daughter Lee, 20, all walked away unhurt when the lorry, with two soldiers on board, demolished a bedroom and a sitting room.

Lee Scott was also taken to hospital suffering from neck pains.