MOTORISTS had a lucky escape after a cherry picker being carried on a lorry hit a bridge and part of it bounced 200m along a major road.

Emergency services were called to the westbound carriageway of the Dorset Way at around 4.40pm after the platform of a cherry picker hit a footbridge in Oakdale, Poole.

Motorists faced traffic chaos after the busy road was closed for two hours while the scene was made safe.

Janet Sullivan was driving a few vehicles behind the low loader lorry.

The catering assistant said: “We heard a loud bang and then this metal cage lifted off the lorry and bounced along the bypass.

“The pick-up truck in front of me slammed on his brakes and so did I. It was very lucky no one was hurt. It could have been disastrous.

“I was shaking like a leaf. I couldn't believe what I had seen.”

Fortunately all other vehicles managed to avoid the platform, which remained connected to the cherry picker by thick electric cables.

It finally came to a stop around 200m from the bridge when the driver of the lorry was able to pull over to the side of the road.

PC Kev Adlem said it was “very lucky” no one was hurt.

He said: “It's very lucky consid¬ering how busy this road is. There must have been lots of cars around it at the time.”

Tony Parfett, bridge maintenance officer for Borough of Poole, said council staff were called to the scene to fill the hole in the road, which had been caused by the platform as it came crashing down.

The bridge did not sustain any major damage, he said.

The road was closed between 4.50pm and 6.50pm.

A police spokesman said no other vehicles were involved in the incident.

The driver of the low loader lorry was uninjured.