A LORRY driver has died after his tanker struck a wall in Holme.
The man in his 50s died at the crash scene in the middle of the moorland village.
It happened at around 11.20am yesterday in Woodhead Road, Holme, and one theory is that the man may have collapsed at the wheel.
The road, which is the main road through Holme village, runs over Holme Moss to the busy Woodhead Pass. It was shut for the majority of yesterday to allow police to deal with the tragedy.
Several police vehicles and fire crews from Holmfirth, Huddersfield and Meltham, were called to the crash which happened near The Fleece pub.
A road ambulance and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance were also called to the scene.
The helicopter landed in the village recreation ground but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Fire crews were called initially due to concerns the tanker, which was carrying liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, was leaking.
But on arrival the firefighters checked the highly-flammable load – used in domesticheating appliances – and found it to be stable.
Huddersfield Crew Commander Dean Hodge told the Examiner: “We received a call to Woodhead Road after a tanker carrying LPG had crashed into a wall.
“We were called to assist with stabilising the tanker but on arrival it was found to be in a safe condition.
“A hazardous materials specialist was also on the scene.
“The driver was out of the vehicle and was being treated by the ambulance service.”
He said it was believed the crash happened after the tanker driver had delivered LPG to a house close to the village centre.
The vehicle was coming out of a side road next to The Fleece when it crossed Woodhead Road and hit the five-foot high wall.
The tragedy has shocked the tight-knit community.
Pupils at Holme Junior and Infant School were escorted to and from the premises on foot after the road was closed to vehicles for most of yesterday.
A spokesman from the school said parents had responded sympathetically and the incident caused only minor disruption.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “A man in his 50s died at the scene following a tanker collision in Woodhead Road, Holme, yesterday morning.
“The road was closed immediately after and will remain closed to allow officers to work at the scene.”
The man has not yet been named.
The Health and Safety Executive have been informed of the incident but are not involved with the investigation at this stage.