From the Rail Accident Investigation preliminary report when a heavily loaded HST struck debris on the track, and came very close to derailment at 95 mph.
The bridge parapet had originally been struck at about 17:20 hrs by a reversing articulated lorry. The lorry driver had turned off the A4 at a junction just north of the railway bridge, and crossed over the railway before encountering a canal bridge 40 metres further on which he considered to be too narrow for his vehicle. A pair of road signs located just south of the A4 junction warn vehicle drivers of a hump back bridge and double bends but there were no weight or width restriction signs. The lorry driver stopped before the canal bridge and attempted to reverse round a bend and back over the railway bridge without assistance, and was unaware when the rear of his trailer first made contact with, and then toppled, the brick parapet on the east side of the railway bridge. The entire parapet, weighing around 13 tonnes, fell onto the railway, obstructing both tracks
This was the same type of train travelling at the same speed as in the 2004 Ufton Nervet crash in which the train driver and five passengers died. What happened at Froxfield was a narrow escape from what could have been a similar disaster.
It was predictable but disappointing that lorry drivers on a forum I won’t name were keen to shout down any criticism of the driver. If you suggested that someone who recklessly endangered several hundred lives be prosecuted, you were compared with Hitler.
I can understand it’s human nature to want to circle the wagons in situations like this, but when the safety of the public is at stake the idea that “armchair critics” must not comment on “professional issues” is dangerous bullshit. As the saying goes, you don’t need to be a chicken to know when the egg is rotten.
The professionalism (or lack of such) of the road haulage industry is the business of everyone who shares a transport environment with them. Don’t let anyone persuade you otherwise.