A TRAPPED driver was rescued in a major operation after his car careered 100ft off the road.

Emergency services were alerted to the crash on Osmington Hill near Weymouth last night.

They found a car travelling towards Weymouth had left the A353 close to a bend, crashed through a fence and plunged down a steep hill on the road's south side, ending up in trees.

As temperatures plummeted, the 20-year-old driver from Weymouth was plucked to safety in an intricate operation involving rope rescue teams, firefighters, police officers and paramedics.

The roof was cut off the blue Peugeot before the driver could be released.

He was placed on a stretcher and hauled up the hill to a waiting ambulance.

He was treated by paramedics at the scene for minor injuries..

The main road was closed between Preston and the Warmwell roundabout for more than two hours yesterday, causing queues to build up in the evening rush-hour.

Traffic trying to get to Dorchester caused congestion through Sutton Poyntz and Came Down where the treacherous conditions led to further delays.

First diverted its Poole-bound X53 service via Dorchester.

The A353 was open again by about 8pm. It is understood the car will be recovered later.

A Preston resident, who did not wish to be named, said it was the second or third incident on that stretch of road in two weeks.

He said: “I would not say it was dangerous but I think it is an area where people need to be careful, as there does seem to be quite a few accidents here.”

Chris Bratchell of the White Horse Holiday Park on Osmington Hill described the stretch of road between the entrance to the holiday park and where last night's collision happened as an 'accident blackspot.'

He said a motorcyclist was killed in the same area a few years ago.

Mr Bratchell said: “In the 14 years we have been here there must have been about 20 serious accidents. In some of those cases, vehicles have ended in fields and luckily people have walked away from the wreckage.

“I don't know what happened in this case. I just hope the person is alright.”

He added: “There doesn't seem to be an intact panel left on the car, it has been seriously bashed about.

“Someone was brought up on stretcher and put in an ambulance.

“I don't think I've ever seen so many flashing lights. It was a big operation to get the person out.”

His wife Erica added: “It happened on a bend where there has been a lot of accidents.

“It must have happened a minute after I drove past.

“I don't think it could be blamed on ice as I didn't see any. It was good visibility and not particularly busy.”