Brighton driver injured after 300ft plunge near the Devil’s Dyke
A Brighton driver suffered serious injuries after his Land Rover plunged 300ft down a steep hill near the Devil’s Dyke.
The 26-year-old man was flown in a Coastguard helicopter to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton where he was treated for head injuries and a broken leg.
Sussex Police said that his injuries were serious but not life threatening.
Two other men who were in the Land Rover were treated at the Royal Sussex for minor injuries.
The driver was following a bridleway to the west of the Devil’s Dyke when he lost control of his vehicle at Perching Hill at about 6.30pm yesterday (Sunday 12 May).
It slid down the Fulking escarpment, a steep grassy hill, until it hit a tree on a raised bank and came to rest in a ditch. It was a write-off.
Sussex Police said: “Rescue teams worked in harsh conditions at the remote location for an hour and a half to free the driver.”
The rescue teams included the four-man Coastguard helicopter crew who were called in to help because the casualties could not be reached by ambulance from Edburton Road, Fulking.
Others involved included paramedics from the South East Coast Ambulance Service and crews from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
The helicopter flew the injured driver to East Brighton Park, off Wilson Avenue, in Whitehawk, at about 8.30pm before the injured driver was taken by ambulance to the Royal Sussex.
Anyone who saw the incident or the old-style Land Rover with a G registration plate being driven on the South Downs beforehand was asked to call Sussex Police on 101.
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The driver and his passengers seem to have had a lucky escape. What does not appear to have been understood is that as far as can be seen they were either on a Restricted Byway or a Bridleway. So unless they were driving with the land owners consent, this means that they were breaking the law. A Restricted Byway or Bridleway is NOT open to motor vehicles.
Yet another case of 4×4, drivers thinking they can just drive anywhere, which is not the case. Those of you who want to legally drive the countries unsurfaced roads, (This is not Off-roading, as Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATS) and Unclassified County Roads have the same legal requirements as surfaced roads) should check out the Green Lane Association (GLASS) website for guidance.