One of the cars involved in a crash on St Lawrence Shute last night. Picture courtesy of Jonathan McCarty.
SIGNS directing drivers down a steep hill last night (Monday), where several cars crashed, others were abandoned and another overturned in icy conditions, may have been moved deliberately.
Signs at the top of St Lawrence Shute, Whitwell, gave drivers the impression the steep, narrow road should be used instead of the main Whitwell to Ventnor route, according to one resident who helped stranded drivers.
Jonathan McCarty, who lives nearby at Seven Sisters Road, invited those affected into his home for tea and coffee.
He said: "There were signs telling people to go down the shute, which is one of the steepest roads in the area with a hairpin bend on the corner. It's lethal, and not a good route in the snow."
One car flipped over as its driver tried to negotiate the tricky road, and several people gave up and abandoned their vehicles overnight.
An Isle of Wight Council spokesman said the signs were placed at
the top of the shute on Friday, as part of an Undercliff Drive
diversion, directing people to use the main road and avoid the shute.
"It is believed the signs were moved deliberately, by an unknown party, to direct traffic down the shute. Several other signs in the area have also been tampered with," said the spokesman.
It is not known if the signs were moved as a prank, or as a misguided gesture of goodwill to direct people away from the snow-blocked Whitwell to Ventnor road.