Monday, 16 July 2018

Added traffic misery after car abandoned

A MAIN road in Henley was blocked for more than half an hour by an abandoned car

A MAIN road in Henley was blocked for more than half an hour by an abandoned car in the middle of the road.

The white R-reg Honda Civic was obstructing the southbound lane of Station Road, outside Hewgate Court, for about 40 minutes on Tuesday evening.

It was initially straddling both lanes but passer-by Wilson Cochrane opened the unlocked driver’s side door and wheeled it to the roadside before calling the police.

Other vehicles had to swerve to avoid the car and those travelling in the opposite direction had to stop and give them room to pass.

The automatic vehicle, belonging to 84-year-old Mary Lowe, from Crazies Hill, had been left in “drive” mode with the handbrake off. The passenger’s side door was also unlocked and the steering lock was engaged.

Mr Cochrane, who lives in Turville Heath and works in Henley, said a group of youths at the scene told him a man had been driving it. They said it had stalled, at which point the man got out and walked away.

A policewoman called to the scene found Mrs Lowe further along Station Road, where she was asking people if anyone had seen her car.

She had parked in the crescent-shaped side road behind Station Park about an hour earlier and returned to find it missing. The officer took her keys and parked the car in Meadow Road before asking her what had happened.

Mrs Lowe said: “As I walked back to collect it I thought ‘my car’s disappeared —what do I do now?’ I thought it might have been towed away.

“I didn’t see it on the opposite side of the road because I didn’t expect it to be there.

“A man eventually came out of his house and said, ‘your car’s over there’ so I walked back and found this very nice young policewoman asking whether it was mine.

“I wonder whether I left the handbrake off but if that was the case, I’d imagine it would have ended up facing in the opposite direction as I left it facing down the hill.

“It’s all rather strange.”

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