A DISABLED granny in a mobility scooter had a stand off with a ten tonne tanker - whose driver forced her to reverse back over a narrow bridge in her electric chair.
Pensioner Ann Orchard was trying to get home after a doctor’s appointment and had to navigate a medieval bridge to return to her house and husband Dave, 78.
But as she began scooting over, thinking the road was clear, a huge fuel tanker drove towards her...and refused to reverse, forcing the frail OAP to turn back.
The hair-raising moment was captured by her horrified daughter Helen Martin, 40, who was walking behind her on the pavement and who had escorted her to her doc’s appointment in Yalding, Kent.
Yalding lies on a river and the east side of the village is separated from the west side by Town Bridge, an old horse and cart bridge which goes over the River Beult.
Helen, a lunchtime supervisor at a primary school, said her mum even wore a luminous tabard so drivers could spot her easily.
She said: “Mum can’t get about easily as she has osteoarthritis, bad hips and several other conditions.
“She can only walk indoors and can’t get out and about unless she’s in a wheelchair or on her scooter and sometimes she’s not even well enough for that.
“The pavement over the bridge is too narrow and is cobblestoned so she can’t use it as it shakes her chair too much.
“Every time she goes to the bottom end of the village she has to go on the road.
“Even when I push her in the wheelchair we have to use the road.
“A lot of drivers are really nice and will stop and let you go.
“We’d just come back from the doctors and I was walking on the path while she went on the road.
“We work as a team. It was clear so I told her to go.”
Although there is a layby to allow cars to pass in the middle of the bridge, the lorry didn’t use it and instead drove straight towards frail Mrs Orchard at speed.
“He could see mum, but he didn’t care” Mrs Martin, of nearby Marden, Kent, added.
“He could have gone into the layby. I shook my head at him and then he started swearing at me. He was so rude.”
Luckily a driver behind the lorry who knew Mrs Orchard pulled into the layby to allow her to pass.
But that was only after she had to reverse her mobility scooter awkwardly all the way back to the start of the bridge.
“Mum was really shaken up and upset by it. It makes her think twice about going out,” Mrs Martin said.
“She’s had her mobility scooter a couple of years but this sort of thing shakes her confidence.
“The whole thing makes me so angry. There was no need for that lorry driver’s attitude.”
The images of struggling Mrs Orchard, posted on Facebook, prompted a great debate.
Catherine Sidders said the lorry driver was “too pig ignorant” to realise the elderly woman couldn’t use the path.
Tony Cuomo said: “It’s a fuel tanker but I can’t discern the company from the logo. If anyone knows the company involved then let me know and I’ll be happy to email them the photos…”
Karen Clark said: “The bigger vehicle would have better visibility over the bridge - the cab is higher up - so he should have given way. Courtesy is all.”
And Mark Cripps fumed: “My partner uses the bridge on her scooter. She has MS and multiple spine fractures so cobbles are a no.
“That bridge should not be used by class 1 or 2 vehicles end of and for you to suggest the disabled or elderly should accommodate these vehicles is frankly laughable.
“The attitude and practices of lorry drivers is, frankly, indefensible.”