Spooky! Feb 7, 2014 10:30:24 GMT 1 via mobile
Post by FredTransit on Feb 7, 2014 10:30:24 GMT 1
The car that was found
IT was the day after the Surrey Police press team’s Christmas party, and no-one expected to be spending it fielding calls about ghosts.
However, Tuesday this week (December 11) was 10 years to the day since a frenzy of calls about a spooky apparition spotted on the A3 southbound near Guildford welcomed them back to work, giving birth to a ghost story that has gone down in Surrey folklore.
It all began on that dark December Sunday night in 2002 when a member of the public reported seeing a car lose control and leave the A3 around 100 metres before the emergency slip road at Burpham.
Police were called to the scene to search for the wreckage, but were unable to find any trace of a crash – that was until an officer stumbled upon a maroon Vauxhall Astra nose down in a ditch, covered in undergrowth.
There was one irregular detail though - the car had not crashed recently. In fact it had lay undiscovered for five months, confirmed by the additional discovery of a decomposed body nearby.
Hysteria greeted the findings, as it was suggested in the national press that the sighting of the car leaving the road just the night before could only have been a ghostly replay of the fatal crash earlier in the year.
This view was not shared by Surrey Police, with a spokeswoman insisting that the incident had only ever been treated as a regular road traffic collision and the fact the car was obscured by leaves and branches most probably prevented it from being reported earlier.
Even if motorists had spotted the vehicle, she added, they may have assumed it was already being dealt with.
The body was identified from dental records as that of 21-year-old Christopher Brian Chandler from Middlesex, who had been on the run from the Metropolitan Police since July 16 that year. He was wanted for robbery.
One man who will not forget the day in a hurry is Steve Casey, an employee at McAllister’s Recovery, who worked for Maco Recovery Services at the time.
He attended the crash scene the following day to tow the car away, and remembers the skeleton being recovered at the same time.
“The car was badly damaged,” said Steve, who was in his 40s at the time.
“It was written off and rusty, and it was an old car. Someone said afterwards that there might have been a ghost involved, but you aren’t told that at the time. I was just getting on with the job.”
Although he now makes light of the incident a decade on, Steve admitted to being "a bit worried" by the presence of a skeleton during the removal of the car, and said he still remembered what he saw when he drives down the A3 past Burpham.
“I think about it every time,” he added.