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RAF MILDENHALL, England — Motorists traveling along the A14 expressway near Newmarket Tuesday faced hours of delays getting to work when the road was closed after a two-vehicle collision.

Many airmen living west of Newmarket were hours late to duty at RAF bases Mildenhall and Lakenheath because of the gridlock.

At about 4:15 a.m., a semitrailer heading west on the A14 collided with a car, jackknifed and smashed into the central barrier, said Mike Nunn, a spokesperson for the Suffolk Constabulary.

“Fortunately, there were no reports of serious injury,” he said.

Damage cleanup and recovery operations kept a section of the highway between the A11 and B1056 junctions entirely closed until about 11 a.m. when a single westbound lane opened up.

Both directions of traffic were diverted through Newmarket, which caused the delays.

“The town was flooded with traffic, it wasn’t even moving,” said Senior Airman Heather Pledger, an aerospace ground equipment craftsman for the 48th Equipment Maintenance Squadron at RAF Lakenheath.

The slow traffic added almost an hour of driving time for Pledger, who lives in Newmarket.

Master Sgt. Kennie Celestine left his home in Papworth Everard — about 27 miles west of Newmarket — around 6:15 a.m. and hit the tail end of the traffic jam. It took 2½ hours for Celestine, a manpower analyst, to get to work at the 100th Mission Support Squadron at RAF Mildenhall.

“It’s usually a long, peaceful drive,” he said.

There were no reports available on what caused the accident.


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