Lucky escape for bus passengers

IT WAS only by luck that no-one was badly injured when this bus plunged through three Ipswich gardens after a smash with a car.The bus, which was bound for Ipswich Hospital, collided with the car on Rands Way before careering through a fence and gardens, eventually coming to a halt just inches from houses.

IT WAS only by luck that no-one was badly injured when this bus plunged through three Ipswich gardens after a smash with a car.

The bus, which was bound for Ipswich Hospital, collided with the car on Rands Way before careering through a fence and gardens, eventually coming to a halt just inches from houses.

Witnesses said they saw the bus passengers screaming as the bus mounted the pavement close to Gorse Road.

Five people were taken to hospital but their injuries were not believed to be serious. The driver of the Ford Escort car also escaped serious injury and was not taken to hospital.

His car was badly damaged on the passenger side and things could have been far worse if the bus had collided with the driver side.

The drama started at around 4.50pm yesterday when 71-year-old Eve Girling was just settling down to her fish and chip supper.

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She said: "I heard this huge bang and realised there had been a crash and rushed outside."

But nothing could have prepared her for the scene in her front garden when she opened the door.

The bus had smashed through her neighbours fence, demolished Mrs Girling's double gateway.

Churning up the gardens it had finally come to rest next door where a 75-year-old woman lives, with the side of the bus just inches from the window. She was too shaken to talk to anyone.

Mrs Girling realised what a lucky escape it was for her.

She said: "Someone said it was lucky it did not go through my living room window.

"But if it had been summer time I would probably have been standing at my gate."

According to police there were between 20 and 30 people on the single decker green Ipswich bus.

Bill Scott, commercial manager for Ipswich Buses, paid tribute to the bus driver.

"The collision was unavoidable," he said. "Our bus has gone over to the left and the driver has managed to steer the vehicle away from going into the houses.

"It was a particularly impressive bit of driving and he has handled the bus remarkably well in the circumstances."

Mr Scott described the driver as "very shaken and very upset" but uninjured.

Elsewhere a six-year-old girl was yesterday airlifted to hospital with head injuries after she was involved in a crash with a school coach.

The girl was being driven to school by her mother when the car was in collision with a single-decker coach at Lamarsh, between Halstead and Sudbury, at around 8.10am.

She was taken to Colchester General Hospital where she was treated for injuries including a cut above her right eye, caused by glass from a window hit her face.

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