Belfast Telegraph

Driver killed in crash on icy road

A driver died after his car left an icy road and hit a tree as temperatures dropped to the lowest of the year.

Police said the local man, who was at the wheel of a Land Rover Defender, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash near Horam, East Sussex, at 7am.

Emergency services, who were trying to get to the scene, were hampered by temperatures of around minus 2C (28.4F) and sheet ice.

Several regions had their coldest temperatures of 2014 as the mercury plunged overnight to minus 7.6C (18.3F) at Benson, Oxfordshire, minus 8.8C (16.2F) in Katesbridge, Co Down, and minus 6.7C (20F) in Pembrey Sands, Dyfed, Wales.

The Met Office also said the coldest temperature in Scotland was minus 8C (17.6F) in Braemar - only a shade warmer than the minus 9C (15.8F) felt in Cromdale, Moray, two nights earlier, which was the lowest of the year.

Anyone returning to work after the Christmas break or hitting the sales is facing a chilly and crisp build-up to the new year.

Kew Gardens is down to minus 4C (24.8F) and southern areas will struggle to get above 5C (41F).

A Met Office spokeswoman, who said that mo st of the country will be in the minus figures, added: "It is going to be cold but not as cold as it was overnight. The day will be bright but with a lot of frost - you will have to de-ice your cars. It will be bright and crisp.

"It will not be particularly cold on New Year's Eve if you are out having a few drinks."

She pointed out that residents who are out in Plymouth, who are currently facing minus 4C (24.8F), could expect temperatures to hit 11C (51.8F) in the daytime on New Year's Eve. Showers can also be expected in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

New Year's Day is set to be wet and warmer.

The best place to be weather-wise as the clock strikes midnight is the South East, the Met Office said, which is expected to stay relatively dry.

Freezing weather brought treacherous conditions to roads at the weekend, with many motorists in Sheffield forced to abandon their cars after becoming snowed in.

More than 100,000 homes were left with power shortages as heavy snow wreaked havoc on electricity cables.

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