Migrants storming the approach to the port of Calais broke the windscreen of a horsebox returning from Luhmühlen.
A groom travelling home from the CCI4* event on Monday (19 June), encountered “75 to 100 migrants with logs, fires and bricks” in the road.
“They had branches, and what were more like mini trees, across the road,” freelance groom Alexandra van Tuyll told H&H.
“There were lots of others throwing bricks at the lorry. I said: ‘What do we do?’ We couldn’t reverse because of the other lorries round the corner [behind us] so we decided to proceed, with caution but quite quickly; we didn’t want to stop.”
Alexandra, who was with one companion as she drove Mike and Trish Ryan’s three horses home, said they passed fires on the road as she drove on, and that “someone swiped the lorry with a small tree”, cracking the windscreen.
“I don’t get scared easily, but it’s not something I’d like to experience on too many occasions,” Alexandra said.
“I felt sorry for the artics. We made a run for it but some of them had to slow down and we saw them later offloading migrants who had managed to get on board.”
Alexandra, who travels to Europe for her job regularly, said such scenes had become rarer since the infamous “Jungle” camp was dismantled last year.
“I’d heard some rumblings in Luhmühlen of trouble but didn’t hear anything else so I was surprised by this, as it had been fine all spring,” she added.
“Driving across fire isn’t something I’d normally do, but it was that or get fire in the truck or let them throw bricks at it – it was kind of damage limitation.”
Alexandra alerted other riders returning from Luhmühlen, but the road was clear by the time they reached it.
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However the driver of a Polish-registered lorry died in the early hours of the following morning (20 June) after he collided with other vehicles forced to stop by a migrants’ road block. Nine Eritreans have been taken into police custody.
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