Hartlepool pensioner ‘lucky to be alive’ after car smashes through wall

The property on the corner of Linden Grove and Grange Road following the collision.
The property on the corner of Linden Grove and Grange Road following the collision.
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A pensioner told how she feels lucky to be alive after a car crashed through a wall and sent bricks flying through the windows.

Ruth Graham was relaxing in her lounge on Tuesday night when a Renault Laguna ploughed into the front of her home stopping just inches from her door in Linden Grove, Hartlepool.

The damage shortly after the crash, taken by Malcolm Graham

The damage shortly after the crash, taken by Malcolm Graham

But the impact of the crash demolished the wall and garden, wrecked an art room and caused the front door to buckle.

Ruth, married to Malcolm, who was also at home, said it sounded like a bomb had gone off.

She said: “I was minding my own business in the lounge when I thought a bomb had exploded.

“I covered my head with my hands because I thought the ceiling was coming in. I couldn’t see anything for the huge cloud of dust outside.

If I had been sat at the desk I would be dead

Homeowner Ruth Graham

“I looked outside and saw a car on my doorstep surrounded by rubble.”

The crash, just after 8.30pm, knocked out the couple’s phone line and neighbours and passers-by, including Father Leon Rogers, of St Aidan and St Columba churches, rang 999.

It is believed the Laguna hit the wall after swerving to avoid a car at the junction with Grange Road that was carrying a man and his eight-year-old daughter.

Several bricks went flying through the window of Ruth and Malcolm’s art room.

One brick was left embedded in the wall.

Ruth, who previously worked for Hartlepool council, said: “If I had been sat at the desk I would be dead. I feel very lucky.

“It has been very distressing.”

But she said knowing the crash could have saved the lives of the people in the other car made her feel better.

“The house can be put right,” she said.

But Ruth and Malcolm have had to postpone a holiday they were due to leave for tomorrow while they try and sort out the mess.

Father Leon, who is also a first aider, praised the response of the emergency services.

The driver of the Laguna, a 26-year-old man, had to be cut free by the fire brigade.

He was taken to James Cook hospital, in Middlesbrough, where he was treated for chest and shoulder pain.

Police are appealing for any witnesses to contact PC Sharon Smith from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit on the non-emergency number 101, quoting event number 134472.