A MAN had a lucky escape when a metal bar dropped from a bridge and smashed through his windscreen on the A13.

Barry Restell, 61, was on his way back from London and was passing under the Purfleet Road bridge, near Aveley, when the foot-long bar hit his Ford Fiesta and ended up between his legs.

Retired Mr Restell, of Woolifers Avenue, Corringham, swerved across two lanes to stop in a lay-by – narrowly avoiding vehicles travelling at speed around him.

He came through the terrifying ordeal with just a bruise and a graze to his hand.

Police described it as a “potentially lethal act of mindlessness”.

Mr Restell said: “I was in the outside lane on the A13 and just coming under the bridge for Aveley and Wennington when there was an almighty bang.

“The windscreen shattered and I ended up with a metal bar between my legs.

“It was terrifying and could have been much worse. I pulled over and was covered in glass. I gathered my thoughts and called the police.”

Mr Restell said he was concentrating on the road and didn’t see anyone on the bridge. But he added he thought it was youngsters mucking around.

He said: “They probably just thought it was funny.

“I was due to go on holiday to Lanzarote two days later, so thankfully I could still go, and that gave me a chance to rest up and get over the ordeal.

“I’m just glad I could still go and that the whole thing wasn’t more serious.”

The windscreen cost £200 to fix. Mr Restell had the damage repaired soon after the incident, which happened at about 4pm on March 4.

A police spokesman said: “We are appealing for information after a potentially-lethal act of mindlessness in Aveley.

“Anyone with information is urged to contact officers at the Grays Neighbourhood Crime Team on 101.”