Old folk's escape as car slams into home

AN old folks home still bears the scars today after a pensioner's car crashed into the building, sending a table skidding across the hallway.Meanwhile two men are recovering after being injured in separate accidents, while a third faces a charge of drink-driving after his car careered into a brick pillar in Great Wenham.

By Jo Macdonald

AN old folks home still bears the scars today after a pensioner's car crashed into the building, sending a table skidding across the hallway.

Meanwhile two men are recovering after being injured in separate accidents, while a third faces a charge of drink-driving after his car careered into a brick pillar in Great Wenham.

A Nissan Micra was being driven out of the car wash at the BP garage in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, yesterday when the 72-year-old driver lost control. She veered into the side of Kent Lodge Rest Home, embedding the car in the wall.


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Jason Ashford of Rust and Kemp builders said the accident would have been much worse if the car had not collided with two concrete posts holding up a wooden fence, before ploughing on to hit the building.

As he and a colleague made the building structurally safe, and filled a 4ft high hole in the brickwork, he said: "Appar-ently the impact pushed a table across the hallway inside the building."

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The accident happened at 3.30pm, when some residents of the rest home were in their rooms just a few feet away.

Eve Branaghan, officer in charge at the home, saw the front of the car protruding into the hall, and ran round to the garage forecourt to see what had happened.

She dialled 999 for an ambulance when she saw the injured driver still at the wheel.

She said: "One lady in the room opposite was a bit shaken up, but everybody was safe.

"The damage to the building is massive. We've had surveyors out already to make sure it is made structurally safe, with metal beams to support the brickwork."

The female driver was taken to hospital but was believed to have only minor injuries.

Garage manager Subra-maniam Arulanandan was confident nothing was wrong with the machine.

He said: "She drove into the car wash correctly, which can be difficult because you have to get between the pipes. When the car wash finished she just drove out, but she did not go straight, she must have turned to the left."

At around 10.45pm a red Peugeot crashed into gateposts of a house as it careered along Raydon Road between Great Wenham and Raydon.

It is thought the driver lost control as he negotiated a bend and veered across the road toward a hedge before swerving back to the other side and a brick pillar and gate at the entrance of a house.

Three men were in the car at the time. The back seat passenger is believed to have been unhurt, but the driver was seen limping and a second passenger was found lying in the road, with suspected broken legs. He was taken to Ipswich Hospital.

Jimmy Richardson, 61, whose gatepost was hit, said: "I think they have been very, very lucky, judging by the damage to the car.

"You can soon have the gates rebuilt. It's not the end of the world."

The 19-year-old driver of the car, Luke Stiff, from Raydon, has been charged with drink-driving and is due before South East Suffolk Magistrates on April 30.

Early today a man was taken to hospital after a crash near the dry ski slope at Wherstead. The man, a pedestrian, was struck by a white van at about 1.30am.

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