WILTSHIRE Police are appealing for witnesses following a crash on the A361 at Semington in which the driver of a silver BMW hit and damaged the parapet of the river bridge at Semington Brook.

The early morning rush hour collision partly blocked the road near Baldhand Mill for around four hours while police investigated the accident and the vehicle was safely removed.

Police said they received a call at 8.30am to report that a silver BMW being driven by a woman was in collision with a white VW Golf being driven by a man.

The South Western Ambulance Service sent one ambulance to the scene to treat the female driver of the BMW for minor injuries. It is understood the VW Golf driver was unhurt.

The A361 was partially blocked and caused traffic delays until 12.30am when the road was fully re-opened in both directions. Police allowed passing traffic to go by in single file while they cleared the accident scene.

The accident has badly damaged the parapet of the bridge, pushing the coping stones into the water. Wiltshire Council, which owns the bridge, has put in a small cordon around the damaged wall and has installed two-way traffic lights which will affect passing traffic.

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said: “The bridge has only recently re-opened after being hit by a lorry 15 months ago. Following the latest accident, we have installed two-way traffic lights while we assess and repair the damage.

“We have assessed the bridge and there are no structural issues but because it is a Grade 2 listed bridge we will have to use the existing stones, which means those that fell into the brook will have to be recovered.

“At this stage, we cannot say how long the traffic lights will stay in place or when the repairs will take place.”

Tony Murch, chairman of Seend Parish Council, said: “We may need to look at that particular site again as this is not the first time there has been an accident there.”

As the BMW went over the parapet, it is feared that oil and anti-freeze from the vehicle may have leaked into Semington Brook, with the potential to kill any local wildlife.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency, which is responsible for river pollution, said: “The incident was reported to the Environment Agency this morning at 9.25am. We believe the car was taken away by police at 10.30am.

“We believe the incident will have caused limited impact to the environment as the car was removed swiftly from the bridge. We will not be carrying out any further investigations.”

If you witnessed the accident and can help with the police with their enquiries, please contact PC547 Tom Wilson at Devizes on 101 or anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.