On Monday 16th January 1967, the first phase of the EK Expressway was still being constructed and as normal, traffic coming from East Kilbride could only get into Blantyre by the Stoneymeadow Road, the quickest route at the time.
That day, a lorry driver sped down the Stoneymeadow Road heading towards Blantyre and his lorry in icy conditions lost its grip with the road, swerving to the side and right through the stone wall on the west side of the General’s Bridge.
The lorry tumbled through the five foot high stonework and overturned falling a full 40 feet down to the river Calder below on the Crossbasket side, eventually coming to a rest upside down in the water!
The driver had a remarkable escape for during the accident, he was thrown clear of the vehicle landing on the river embankment and incredibly only suffered minor cuts and bruises.
The vehicle was salvaged from the river later that week and the county council repaired the wall at once to make the area “safe”. Today, the western parapet on Stoneymeadow Road still bears the mark of that accident by a short section on the approach to the bridge being visibly different from the rest of the older walls. The repaired section has a flat cope and is made of more modern stonework, by comparison to the round copes of the remaining three parapets.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017
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