Rougham crash pub owner tells ordeal

A LANDLORD has spoken of the terrifying moment a van ploughed through his pub wall and into the bar, pinning the injured driver inside his wrecked vehicle.

A LANDLORD has spoken of the terrifying moment a van ploughed through his pub wall and into the bar, pinning the injured driver inside his wrecked vehicle.

David Walker, owner of the Bennett Arms in Rougham, described his desperate search through the rubble with a small torch as the stricken driver cried out in pain.

Mr Walker was asleep upstairs when he heard the crash followed by the piercing sound of his burglar alarm at just after 4am yesterday.

He said: “I didn't understand what was going on at all. I ran downstairs, everything was dark and the alarm was still going off.

“Then I realised there was a van in the pub. The driver started to come round but I couldn't get anywhere near him, there was nothing I could do for him.

“He was crying out and I couldn't get to him.”

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Mr Walker said the fire service had to move the van back 4ft to get to the injured driver, who was cut out of his vehicle and taken to Bury St Edmund's West Suffolk Hospital with a broken leg, fractured ribs and facial injuries.

The van was removed from the pub a couple of hours after the fire service arrived and Suffolk police closed the road while structural engineers assessed the safety of the public house.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said the van driver was now in a stable condition in hospital with substantial but not life-threatening injuries.

The pub, which remained closed yesterday, was damaged in a similar crash which tragically killed 18-year-old Ian Smith in December 1995.

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