Driver's shock as granite block thrown from bridge

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Media captionLisa Horne: "It has scared me a lot and it has made me realise how precious life is"

The driver of a car damaged by a granite block thrown from a bridge in Essex has described her shock as the windscreen shattered.

Lisa Horne, 26, was driving with her mother under Fryerning Lane Bridge on the A12 near Ingatestone on 1 December.

She said: "It was as if somebody had put their hands over my eyes. I heard a bang and my windscreen just shattered."

Forty minutes later, another block was hurled on to another car from West Hanningfield bridge, near Galleywood.

Ms Horne, from Brentwood, said: "I feel as if someone was looking over me. I may never have come home to my children."

"I can't understand why someone would do that. They are obviously not normal people."

Her Vauxhall Astra was hit by the granite block as Ms Horne and her mother Stella, a front seat passenger, were returning from a trip to the Lakeside shopping centre.

Ms Horne said: "I heard a loud bang and the windscreen shattered.

"I was in the slow lane doing 55mph because it was raining and my mother shouted to pull on to the hard shoulder.

"If I was doing one mile an hour more it could have gone straight through the windscreen," the mother-of-two said.

'Very shaken'

She said the perpetrator must be caught before someone is killed. "If I was going any faster, it may have been a different story. I do feel very lucky," she said.

Ms Horne said she was left "very shaken" by the incident.

Image caption A concrete bollard that hit a Nissan had been stolen from a house in Galleywood

"I am scared to drive, I don't think I will be driving in the dark. I certainly won't be going down the A12," she said.

"I am scared that I may never have come home to my two young children. It has made me realise how precious life is."

Ms Horne's mother Stella said: "I remember seeing, like, a shadow coming down from the sky, and there was the biggest explosion.

"That was a rock hitting the car. At the time I thought it was something off an aeroplane, that was the first thought that was in my head."

She said she was "so proud" of her daughter and how she handled the incident.

"I went into mum mode and started shouting," she said.

'Quite lucky'

Ms Horne said she remembered swerving to the other side of the road but then her mother had shouted at her to get onto the hard shoulder.

"I can't remember looking in my mirrors or actually moving over, so it was quite lucky really that there wasn't another vehicle as I went over."

Image caption Lisa and Stella Horne said they had a miracle escape when the block was dropped on to their car

Police investigating the attacks are trying to determine whether they have any definite links to more than 30 similar incidents on bridges along the A12 in Essex over the past three years.

They have also appealed for more information from the public and believe the granite block may have been stolen from a garden or rockery.

A 57-year-old woman has been left with fractures to her face and ribs and internal injuries when a "bucket-sized" piece of concrete was dropped on to her vehicle from a different bridge on the same stretch of road between Chelmsford and London.

That happened at 22:05 GMT on the same night as the Vauxhall Astra attack as her car passed under West Hanningfield Bridge near Galleywood.

The woman, who is in a stable condition at Broomfield Hospital in Essex, was in the car with her husband, the driver, who suffered minor cuts and bruises.

Both incidents are being treated as attempted murder.

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