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Bus smashes into family's home - the third time it has been struck by a vehicle in three years

PUBLISHED: 17:34 19 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:48 20 March 2019

Nicola Stanmore said it was the third time the house has been struck by a vehicle in the last four years   Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Nicola Stanmore said it was the third time the house has been struck by a vehicle in the last four years Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

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A family are pleading for better road safety measures after a bus crashed into their home in Henley - the third time it has been struck by a vehicle in the last three years.

The crash involved a white van and a Galloways bus. After they collided, the bus crashed into the house Picture: NICOLA STANMOREThe crash involved a white van and a Galloways bus. After they collided, the bus crashed into the house Picture: NICOLA STANMORE

Police were called to reports of a crash involving a Peugeot Boxer van and a Galloways bus in Main Road, close to the Cross Keys pub, at around 5.10pm on Monday, March 18

Nicola Stanmore was at home with her mother Linda, uncle Thomas and son Luke when they heard a loud bang outside their home.

Recognising the sound of a crash, Thomas got up from the chair he was sitting in next to the front window and ran to the hallway, moments before the single-decker struck the house, filling the room with broken glass.

The road was closed by police for more than three hours and six people were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

The home's original wall was destroyed in a similar crash in April 2016 Picture: NICOLA STANMOREThe home's original wall was destroyed in a similar crash in April 2016 Picture: NICOLA STANMORE

This was the third time the house has suffered a crash in the last three years, with previous incidents happening in April 2016 and June 2017.

In 2016, Mrs Stanmore’s mother Linda was thrown across the room and knocked unconscious by the force of the crash.

The road is a national speed limit zone, on a stretch between 30mph zones at Henley and Hemingstone, and is set on a crossroads.

Mrs Stanmore said after the crash happened, they installed steel reinforcements within the brickwork of their front wall to protect their home.

Nicola Stanmore said if it wasn't for the reinforced wall, the bus would have smashed straight thorugh their home Picture: ADAM HOWLETTNicola Stanmore said if it wasn't for the reinforced wall, the bus would have smashed straight thorugh their home Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Mrs Stanmore said without the steel bars, the bus would have smashed right through the house.

“It’s a good job we had the reinforced wall, it did its job,” she said.

“I knew exactly what had happened when I heard the bang.

“It is going to kill someone one day, we are already on our third crash.
“It will end up in a death.”

Nicola Stanmore says more needs to be done to reduce the risk of crashes on Main Road in Henley after a bus crashed into her home Picture: ADAM HOWLETTNicola Stanmore says more needs to be done to reduce the risk of crashes on Main Road in Henley after a bus crashed into her home Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

She added she has seen her insurance premiums double in the last few years because of the crashes.

The family want to see an extended 30mph zone, traffic calming measures or additional signage in the area to help make motorists aware of the potential dangers.

Mrs Stanmore said she contacted Suffolk Highways after the previous crashes but said the only thing to come of it was the installation of a give way sign at the crossroad.

County Councillor John Field, who represents the Gipping Valley division, said he was aware that the road is a problem and would help support a campaign for more signage.

A van ended up on their front lawn after the crash in June 2017 Picture: NICOLA STANMOREA van ended up on their front lawn after the crash in June 2017 Picture: NICOLA STANMORE

However, he was reluctant backing the creation of a 30mph zone as he was doubtful that motorists would obey the new limit.

Trevor Whiting, Galloway’s head of operations, said he backed the family’s claim that the area was high risk.

He said: “Our thoughts are with everyone involved in yesterday’s incident, including our driver and passengers.

“We wholeheartedly support the householders view that this junction is a high-risk area, especially as it is increasingly used as a route to and from Otley College.”

The vehicles crashed through a reinforced wall the family had built after a similar crash a year before Picture: ADAM HOWLETTThe vehicles crashed through a reinforced wall the family had built after a similar crash a year before Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Suffolk Highways have been contacted for comment.

The family are hosting a ‘Shop, Pamper and Cake’ charity event at their home in Henley on Sunday, March 20 from 10am -2pm, to raise money for Iceni and Age UK Suffolk

The event had been organised long before Monday’s crash and they are keen not to let this week’s drama put a dampener on their fundraising plans.

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