Three injured as lorry crashes into Lyme Regis hotel
Two men suffered serious injuries when a Royal Mail lorry crashed into the front of a Dorset hotel.
Police were called to the Mariners Hotel in Lyme Regis at about 0950 BST.
The lorry was in collision with a car towing a trailer and then hit a male pedestrian before crashing into the hotel, dragging the man with it.
The lorry driver and pedestrian were airlifted to hospital. A third man, working inside the hotel as a porter, was treated for minor facial injuries.
Police said the porter did not require hospital treatment but the pedestrian was thought to be "in theatre in a serious but stable condition".
The hotel's owner, Jerry Ramsdale, travelled to the hotel from his home in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, when he heard what had happened.
"My immediate concern is for the injured pedestrian and driver of the van and the welfare of my hotel staff. This is a huge shock.
"We have decided to close the hotel for the weekend so we can hopefully assess the damage to the building."
Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said there was significant structural damage to the hotel.
"Crews rescued two people from inside the hotel and one gentleman was cut free from the lorry," a spokeswoman said.Beatrix Potter
The pedestrian, in his 30s, from Lyme Regis, was airlifted to a hospital in Exeter. He suffered a serious leg injury.
The driver of the lorry, from Bournemouth, was airlifted to Dorset County Hospital.
Eyewitness Joelle Chestney, who works in the nearby Nags Head pub, said the injured pedestrian lived in the town with his young family.
"Everyone is really distraught about it and can't believe that it has actually happened."
A spokesman for Royal Mail confirmed that one of its vehicles was involved in the accident and its driver was taken to hospital.
"The full detail and circumstances are a matter for the police and we will co-operate fully with them in any future investigation," the spokesman said.
The hotel says on its website that author Beatrix Potter was inspired to write The Tale of Little Pig Robinson while staying there when she was 17 years old.