THOUSANDS of onions were left covering a busy road after a lorry overturned.

The lorry nearly hit a car with two children inside as the male driver tried to stop it tipping over in Eastern Avenue, Southend, at around 9.30am yesterday.

He was treated at the scene, just past the railway bridge, for shock before being taken to Southend Hospital.

The lorry dropped its entire load, estimated to be 50,000 onions.

Sarah McNulty, 29, of Northville Drive, Westcliff, who was driving along Eastern Avenue with her two children as passengers, said she was lucky to not have collided with the lorry.

She said: “The driver tried to stop it by swerving into my line, I swerved and somehow he missed me but he couldn’t save the truck tipping.

“He was trying to stop himself tipping as he was still steering. I steered left away from him, but my instinct was to brake. The lorry tipped as I went past.

“I felt completely panicked so stopped my car at the top on the hill in the central reservation.

“I have to thank the lady who stopped and moved my car into Aldi and helped me out of the shock, she was amazingly kind.”

An Essex Police officer at the scene, speaking to the Echo before the overturned lorry was removed yesterday afternoon, said: “The onions can’t be recovered until the lorry is gone, but I don’t think we will need to close the road for that.

“I don’t know what the owner will want to do with them now.”

The contents of the truck were due to be collected by Southend Council’s waste contractor Veolia.

One lane of Eastern Avenue was closed between Sutton Road and Priory Crescent throughout the morning and into the afternoon, causing long tailbacks and delays throughout the area.

The road was shut completely while the lorry was removed.

Officers remained at the scene directing motorists around the eye-watering onions.

Paramedics also attended the incident.

The ambulance service said one man, believed to be the lorry driver, was taken to hospital for treatment.

A spokesman said: “An ambulance attended and treated a man in his 40s.

“He was taken to Southend Hospital for further care.”