Runaway tractor drama in Rose Court

A construction worker has a narrow escape when a runaway tractor rolled down a hill in the Waterside area of the city yesterday morning.

The incident happened around 10am yesterday as a tractor was trying to tow cars which were stuck at the bottom of Rose Court because of ice on the road.

An eyewitness said the man was trying to attach a chain to a car when the tractor slid down the hill.

It is believed the man was clipped by the tractor as he tried to get out of the path of the tractor but was not badly injured. The tractor then collided with the car the man was trying to attach the chain to.

“He literally got out of the way just in time and the digger bucket actually winged his shoulder.

“It hit the car, doing a fair bit of damage and forcing it up onto the pavement,” the eyewitness said.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Lynn Fleming said the incident shows the need for more grit boxes in the area.

“I have already contacted Roads Service regarding the lack of grit boxes and they are going to assess a number of streets to establish whether they qualify for boxes.

“This incident just shows the dangers involved and I am just glad that no-one was hurt. From what I have been told it could have been much more serious and it underscores the need for proper gritting facilities to be put in place in residential streets throughout top of the hill without delay,” she said.

The former mayor also said local community activists have been attempting to keep road surfaces and footpaths free from ice but have been hampered by the lack of grit.

“Many roads and footpaths over the last number of days have been extremely treacherous and the lack of grit boxes means it has been left to community activists to source grit and treat the roads,” she said.