The dangers of the steep main road into Santa Cruz were once again in evidence on Saturday morning when an articulated lorry ploughed into cars waiting at traffic lights on the Avenida Manuel Hermoso.

The 32-year-old driver told police his brakes had failed as he drove down the steep access road. The lorry crashed into five cars, totally destroying one of them, but miraculously only one person was seriously injured, a 35-year-old Bolivian who suffered a serious head trauma. He was transferred to Our Lady of Candelaria Hospital, along with another six people who were suffering minor injuries and shock.

Santa Cruz council said afterwards that the large articulated lorry should not have been using the lane at the time, a rule the driver was unaware of. Later examination of the vehicle’s tachograph revealed the driver had not been speeding, nor was the vehicle overloaded, but Police have charged the driver with dangerous driving.

Police said if the accident had happened on a busy week day, the consequences could have been far worse.

Several years ago a special slip road had to be built on the motorway into the capital to give lorries a safety spot in case of brake failure.