Digger falls onto main Bristol commuter route after coming off steep road when bucket lowered suddenly

The driver of a digger was killed when his vehicle veered off a steep road in Bristol and fell 21m onto a main road below yesterday afternoon.

The digger was travelling along Bridge Valley Road in Bristol when it its front bucket inexplicably lowered, whereupon the vehicle mounted the pavement, crashed through a stone wall and fell onto the A4 Portway below.

The digger's driver, believed to be a 53-year-old man from the Filton area, was declared dead at the scene.

Avon and Somerset police have yet to establish what caused the bucket to lower, or what company or construction project the digger belonged to, if any.

They have appealed for witnesses to the accident, which occurred at 4.20pm yesterday. No other vehicle was involved, although a bus had passed the spot seconds before.

The A4 Portway, one of Bristol's busiest commuter routes, was closed for eight hours to allow police investigations, causing massive traffic disruption in the city during the evening rush hour.