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Woman's shock in night time drama

PUBLISHED: 12:10 22 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 March 2010

A WOMAN has today spoken of her shock after a car ploughed into the front of her house in Wickham Market, rupturing a gas main.

And earlier last night, two people were taken to hospital following a four vehicle crash on the A12 near the town, which included a minibus carrying schoolchildren.

A WOMAN has today spoken of her shock after a car ploughed into the front of her house in Wickham Market, rupturing a gas main.

And earlier last night, two people were taken to hospital following a four vehicle crash on the A12 near the town, which included a minibus carrying schoolchildren.

In today's incident, Julie Gleave said she woke trembling to an almighty bang at around 2.15am when a Ford Escort smashed into her front door.

She said: "When you are in a deep sleep and that kind of noise wakes you up you can't work out what it is.

"Then I heard someone screaming at me to get out and my neighbour phoned me to tell me she could smell gas."

The car had clipped the side of the house and then struck the front door, ripping away what is thought to be the original door framing of the 17th century, grade II listed building.

While the male driver of the car was taken to Ipswich Hospital, the clean up operation began at the house to make it safe for Ms Gleave to go back in.

She had only lived in the house for two months and was running it as a bed and breakfast, but had no guests.

She said: "I have had guests every weekend apart from this one. It is lucky I did not have any."

Ms Gleave's 21-year-old daughter Vashti was also asleep in the house at the time while she was visiting her mother.

"I head her calling me, I think she thought someone was in the house.

"It has made me very nervous being here," said Ms Gleave.

Other residents living in the street came out to the scene after being woken by the noise.

Ms Gleave said: "The neighbours were wonderful, especially Penny and John over the road and Jane and Steve next door.

"Penny and John were helping out making coffees for all the workers and helping the person in the car. Everyone was really shocked and trembling as no-one knew what had happened."

Although there is still a strong smell of gas in the house, part of it which was once a shop, Ms Gleave was able to go back home once the engineers had turned off the supply.

Her daughter went to sleep at a neighbours house, but Ms Gleave spent a sleepless rest of the night while the events sunk in.

She said: "The carnage was extraordinary, the car was a mess."

And at around 8.30pm last night the emergency services were called to a four vehicle smash on the A12.

A number of school children from Halesworth were caught up in the crash as their minibus collided with a motorcycle , a Peugeot 306 and a Volvo 360.

Some youngsters were treated for cuts and bruises, while the motorcyclist and Volvo driver were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

It is the second crash this week to involve school children as on Monday afternoon nine people, pupils and teachers, were taken to hospital following a coach crash on the A140 at Scole.

Suffolk police are appealing for witnesses to the crashes. Anyone with information should call 01473 613500.

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