RISING Sun landlady Dawn Horscroft thought there had been a gas explosion when a HGV crashed into the front of the pub in North Bradley at around 6am this morning.

Miss Horscroft, 30, who lives above the pub with her partner Matthew Billings-Wakerley, 33, said she was finishing some painting upstairs at the end of a late shift when an articulated 38-tonne Daf lorry hit the pub in Woodmarsh Road.

Following the initial shock, Miss Horscroft said concern turned to the driver of the lorry, who was unconscious following the crash, Mr Billings-Wakerley running downstairs to assist the man.

The driver was trapped in the vehicle and it was only once firefighters from Trowbridge Fire Station arrived that he was able to be freed from the wreckage.

He was then taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

Miss Horscroft, who has run the pub since October last year, said: “We were not asleep at the time as we were just finishing off some painting upstairs following a late shift.

“We were getting ready for bed when we heard a massive bang, which sounded like a gas explosion. Matt jumped out of bed and said a lorry has smashed into the pub. It was rolling back into the road.

“It was completely surreal and when we ran downstairs there was a load of dust covering everywhere and we couldn’t see very well, although the lorry’s lights were shining in.

“It all happened so quickly and Matt went to see if the driver was okay, but he wasn’t able to get him out as he was coming in and out of conscious. I was running around shouting to see if anyone could help Matt and then the emergency services arrived.”

Miss Horscroft, who said the pub is up for sale, described how traffic then started to build up and two lorry drivers were able to stop the flow of traffic.

Police closed Woodmarsh Road in both directions at the Westbury Road junction, but the road was reopened around 9am.

The nearby North Bradley CE Primary School was forced to delay its opening time until 10am this morning due to the traffic caused by the crash.

Miss Horscroft said: “It is not structurally safe to be in the pub at the moment and we are just waiting for builders and the insurance company to come and survey it, but no one is allowed in.

“It’s not really sunk in yet what has happened and I’ve not even thought about Christmas yet, although it is not far away and it is a busy time of year. Yesterday we were painting the toilets and today we have no income and nowhere to live.

“Now there is nothing in North Bradley, which will be really hard for a lot of people as the pub is often used a meeting place for people in the village.”