A BIN lorry was hit by a van during a high-speed police chase – hospitalising a council worker.
Two unmarked police cars were chasing the white Transit when it smashed into the council vehicle.
Seconds earlier, a gritter driver was forced to swerve and pull over to avoid being caught up in the pursuit, which took place near Dechmont, West Lothian, at around 11am yesterday.
The injured bin man, who was inside the lorry, suffered injuries to his face and was taken to hospital.
Two refuse workers were outside the vehicle collecting bins when the smash took place on the A899 between Dechmont and Beecraigs near Houston Farm Riding School.
An eyewitness to the incident told the Evening News that it was a miracle more people were not injured.
He said: “The guys out collecting the bins could have been killed.
“The driver of the van refused to stop, he was being chased by two unmarked police cars. They must have been travelling about 60mph.
“He must have thought ‘I’m going to force my way round the side of the bin lorry’.
“The van went up on to the embankment to try and get through and it smashed into the bin lorry before forcing the grit lorry off the road.
“When the police caught up with the driver, they took him away in handcuffs.”
The road was littered with smashed glass, indicator lenses and the rear bumper of the Transit van following the incident.
A spokeswoman for West Lothian Council confirmed the gritter “had to pull to the side of the road”.
She said: “No-one was hurt and the vehicle wasn’t damaged.”
Referring to the smash that happened moments later, she added: “In a separate incident in the same area, a vehicle hit a refuse lorry causing damage and a member of staff was injured. Our staff are helping police with their inquiries.”
A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said a 43-year-old man had been charged with alleged road traffic offences following the incident.
The spokesman said: “A West Lothian Council employee was taken to hospital after sustaining injuries to his face when a van struck the bin lorry he was working within.
“The man is scheduled to appear in court in due course.”