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Concrete blocks dropped on to A12 - Family of injured woman pleads with public to come forward with information

The family of a disabled woman who was seriously injured when a concrete block was dropped on to her car from a bridge on the A12 has pleaded for anyone with information to come forward.

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Carol Manley, 57, suffered multiple rib and facial injuries when a bucket sized block smashed through the windscreen of her Nissan Note as it passed under West Hanningfield Road Bridge near Galleywood just after 10pm on Thursday, December 1, 2011.

Photo: The bucket size concrete block that hit Mr and Mrs Manley's car

The grandmother of 11, who suffers from epilepsy and arthritis, had only just recovered from serious stomach surgery when she was struck by the block on her way home to Harold Hill after visiting friends.

She is now in Broomfield Hospital recovering from reconstructive facial surgery but her husband Steve, 56, and daughter Michelle Clifton, 37, say she is lucky to be alive.

Steve, who is due to celebrate his 38th wedding anniversary with Carol on December 15, said: "We must help catch the people or person who is doing this and put them away before an innocent person is killed.

"If the concrete had struck the car six inches further forward my wife wouldn't be here today. My children could have been carrying our coffins.

"The police can't do this without us, they need our help."

Steve, 56, had been driving the car and suffered minor cuts and bruises in the attack which was the second of its kind on the same day.

Thirty minutes earlier, mother and daughter Lisa and Stella Horne narrowly missed being injured when a large rock was dropped from the Fryerning Lane Bridge onto the Vauxhall Astra in which they were travelling.

Photo: The rock that hit Lisa Horne's car

Police are treating both attacks as attempted murder. A team of 33 detectives and investigators are working on the case and officers have idenitified the locations where the concrete block and football-sized rock were taken from.

Carol's daughter Michelle is urging anyone with information that could help police with their investigation to get in touch.

She said: "I don't want anyone else to get a phone call like I did telling me I could lose my mum. I had to tell my children that their nan was in hospital and I couldn't guarantee she was going to be ok.

"Idiots like to brag so please, if anyone hears someone talking about what they've done, please contact the police.

"They need to be caught, tried and punished however a judge sees fit."

In the second incident, mother of two Lisa Horne had been travelling home to Chelmsford after a day’s Christmas shopping at Lakeside when the concrete stuck her car just before 9.30pm on December 1, 2011.

Photo: (L-R) Lisa and Stella Horne

The 26-year-old spoke out about her experience earlier this week in the hope it would help police catch those responsible.

She said: “It was as if someone had put their hands over my eyes. I just heard a bang and my windscreen was shattered. I couldn’t work out what had happened.

“I can’t understand how anybody could do that. They’re obviously not normal, they’re not nice people, they need to be caught.

“I walked away without a scratch but I’m scared it’s going to happen to somebody else. I want them to be caught.

“I feel like someone was looking over me, I feel very lucky. If I had been going any faster it could have been a different story.

“I’m scared to drive, I don’t think I’ll be driving in the dark, I certainly won’t be  driving down the A12 and I’m scared by the fact that I may never have come home to my children. It’s scared me a lot and made me realise how precious life is.” 

Her mum Stella, 48, added: “I remember seeing a shadow come down from the sky and then there was the biggest explosion. At the time I thought it was something off of an aeroplane. It wasn’t until we got out the car that we both realised it had come from the bridge.

“I just don’t know how they went home that night and slept when they could have killed four people within half an hour. I don’t understand how people could do that.”

Police have increased patrols along the A12 and bridges and forensic examinations of the items recovered and the bridges is continuing.

Supt Trevor Roe said: "We have had a fantastic response from the public so far but my appeal for information continues.

"Essex Police's focus is on the events on the same day in December but as part of that investigation we are looking back at incidents in previous years and looking at any possible links.

"We are conducting reassurance patrols across the 39 bridges on the A12 that stretch from Ipswich to the M25.

"The sooner these individuals are brought to justice the better."

Officers are asking residents and motorists to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour or vehicles to police immediately.

Anyone with is urged to contact detectives in the incident room at police headquarters on 0300 333 4444 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.







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