THERE was a scene of devastation yesterday when a lorry careered off the road, smashed into the front of a pub, hit a cyclist and crushed a car.

Part of the Fox and Stork in Halliwell Road, Halliwell, was demolished when the lorry ploughed through a boundary wall, narrowly missing a lamp post.

The lorry was heading towards Bolton when the driver lost control at 11.30am yesterday. It is thought that he suffered a seizure while driving.

A cyclist was knocked off his bike when the truck mounted the pavement, but escaped with minor injuries.

A car parked in an alleyway next to the pub was crushed when the truck hit it.

Landlord Simon Hobbs, who has been at the pub for 12 years, said: “I heard a massive roaring and thundering noise, and then the building shook.

“I was on the internet at the time and wondered what the hell was happening. It was scary. I was waiting for something to hit me.

“Fortunately, we were closed. There are always people standing outside smoking when we’re open and a lot of people sit outside the pub in the summer. This accident could have killed people. I can’t believe it.”

Nearby residents quickly came outside to help. They pulled the driver from the truck and put him in the recovery position.

Witnesses said he appeared to be having a fit and was barely conscious. The driver and the cyclist were taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital.

Halliwell Road was closed for more than two hours while the police and firefighters worked to remove the truck and clean up the debris.

The truck, which has a large crane arm for transporting timber, belongs to Bolton company EBM Buildbase. Managing director Peter Dobson, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

A police spokesman said: “The wagon lost control and crashed. It could’ve been a lot worse. It was fortunate that there was nobody on the pavement at the time.”