STUNNED dad Mark Stokle couldn’t believe his eyes when he looked out of his front window to see his car being shunted along the road by a HGV wagon.
The truck had missed a diversion sign after being forced to turn off a main road due to improvements, and the driver smashed into the car as he attempted to swing the vehicle round a right turn.
Self employed joiner Mark, 49, then saw his Vauxhall Zafira being pushed along Osborne Road, causing damage which led to the car being written off.
The dad of three said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw, I ran outside and so did my neighbour because he had seen it as well.”
The driver of the vehicle, a worker at Stiller Warehousing and Distribution, based in Newton Aycliffe, had been forced to turn right off York Road, into Lister Street, due to road improvements, but said there was “inadequate signage” causing him to miss the diversion into Caroline Street.
Instead he carried on along Lister Street and turned right onto Osborne Road, where he hit the parked Vauxhall Zafira.
But Hartlepool Borough Council bosses “strongly refute” the suggestion that signage is inadequate and say the diversions are very clearly marked by large warning signs.
Mark, who lives with his wife, Angela, 47 and their three children, Luke, 10, Lucy, eight, and three-year-old Joe, said it isn’t the first time a large wagon has tried to edge down Osborne Road after missing the diversion while the improvements are being carried out.
He said: “It was only a matter of time until something like this happened.
“We have had so many HGVs coming down this road, it’s been an accident waiting to happen.
“My wife and the three kids had just come in about an hour earlier, what if they were still sat in the car when this happened?”
The car was declared a write-off after being examined after the incident, which happened at around 5.30pm last Tuesday.
Mark added: “I think there should be more signage.
“I just wanted to highlight that it’s the residents who are suffering, we have had so many HGVs coming down the road, they can’t all be missing the road signs.”
Andrew Winney, a director at Stiller Warehousing and Distribution, said: “I have read the driver’s report and he felt the signage was inadequate and he was shepherded down roads which were unsuitable for the size of his vehicle.
“It was as if the people responsible for the diversion were thinking as car drivers rather than considering all road users.
“We did not know the extent of the damage to the cars and that will be a matter for our insurers, but we are certainly very concerned that our vehicle ended up in a residential area.
“We are disappointed that this accident happened and feel that more thought should have gone into the diversion.”
But a Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: “We strongly refute any suggestion that the signage for our traffic diversions is inadequate.
“The diversions are very clearly marked by large warning signs. The main diversion, in the case of traffic travelling southbound along York Road, is along Park Road and onto the A689.
“For traffic needing access to the area immediately surrounding the section of York Road where the improvement work is being carried out, there is a secondary diversion from York Road into Lister Street and then along Caroline Street.
“Both diversions are marked by large, easy-to-read signs.”