THE SOAP VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED.
Even in a community hardened by bitter experience of shotgun sieges, violent murders and the occasional aeroplane crash this came as a shock.
Some of the villagers were walking around in a complete daze throughout all five of the accident episodes.
Yes honestly, even more dazed than usual.
The crash itself was surprisingly realistic. The stunt team made it look almost believable for a second or two, although it was hard to understand why reliable driver Pete steered the lorry with the failed brakes straight into the only other vehicle in sight.
Poor chap was the first corpse to be carried out. The rest took much longer to emerge. The Emmerdale emergency teams made emptying a small coach look like evacuating the Titanic.
But at least Pete went quickly. It took Butch Dingle all week to croak. He even managed a hilarious deathbed wedding to his half-witted girlfriend Emily before he left the series.
His father Zak was so upset he nearly took his cap off. But most of the week's grieving was done by crippled Chris Tate who scooted round in his wheelchair sobbing in all directions.
First he thought his son Joseph was trapped inside, until he walked up safe and sound.
Then he thought his ex-wife Kathy was dead, but she evidently took the impact on her head so she hardly felt a thing.
Chris still kept crying uncontrollably so maybe he was worrying about the Tate Haulage share price all along.
Only someone as congenitally unpleasant as Chris could blub like a baby and then blame everyone else when two of his badly maintained vehicles crashed into each other.
Most of the filming appeared to have been completed during an extras' strike because there was hardly anyone about, apart from the ruthlessly overworked leading lights.
Tim Vincent managed a heroic entrance as the brave new vet who leaped into action saying he had medical knowledge.
It's a pity he didn't slip Chris something powerful for his chronic foot-in-mouth disease.
But hopefully the incident clears the decks in the countryside for an influx of interesting new people.
Emmerdale certainly needs some fresh faces.