A HUSBAND and wife were almost killed after a child dropped a large stone onto their car as it passed under a bridge

Glass shattered onto Allan and Margaret Bentley after the windscreen of their Peugeot 308 hatchback was hit by a large, cobble-like stone.

The Stevenage couple were returning from Cambridge along the Baldock A505 bypass, shortly before 4pm on Sunday.

While her husband was driving, Mrs Bentley saw a child believed to be about nine years old leaning over the barrier on the Royston side of the bridge.

To her amazement she saw the child drop the stone on to her car, which was travelling at around 60mph.

The child, who was thought to be part of a group of four adults, another child and a dog, was holding the stone in both hands before dropping it onto the car.

Mrs Bentley had just enough time to shout to her 69-year-old husband before the stone hit the windscreen.

Fortunately for the 65-year-old the sun visor was partly down and she was wearing glasses, so no glass went into her eyes.

Mr Bentley, who is now retired but worked at Astrium in Stevenage, said: “Had the laminate failed or the screen been less inclined the stone would have broken through the plastic laminate and my wife would have received serious head or face injuries.”

The grandparents, who were left shaken, pulled up quickly and saw a child walking off in the direction of Baldock.

“This family group were probably not aware of what had happened, but would have been aware that one of the group had run on ahead to look at the cars passing under the bridge,” said Mr Bentley.

“As there is no emergency lane at this point I was not able to safely back up to the bridge and attract their attention, so I called the police,” he added.

The stone has left a massive crack measuring three and a half inches by two and a half inches.

A Hertfordshire Police spokesman said: “We were notified of this incident on Sunday and we are appealing to anyone who may have been on the footbridge at the time to come forward or anyone who may know the group or a member of the group to come forward.”

Mr Bentley said he would also like the incident to be mentioned in schools and for headteachers to speak to students to help avert a future tragedy.