Stolen bus causes ‘total devastation’

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RESIDENTS were today counting the cost after a stolen bus left a trail of destruction in their quiet street.

People living in Marcia Avenue, Shotton Colliery, were left in a state of shock after a single-decker Arriva bus ploughed into their cars, garden walls and brought down two telegraph poles, leaving them without power.

Police say the unoccupied bus was stolen from Peterlee Bus Station before being driven three miles to Shotton Colliery, where it crashed into numerous vehicles.

Firefighters had to close the road as there were fears people could be in danger of electric shock from live wires from the trailing electricity cables, as reported in yesterday’s Mail.

A female motorist was treated for shock after the bus collided with her car.

A row of around 10 households was affected by the chaos.

Yesterday, one side of the road was cordoned off with traffic cones and two telegraph poles were laid in the gutter.

A Suzuki Alto, a Ford Fiesta, a Nissan Primastar, a Fiat Doblo, a Citroen Xsara, a Citroen Synergie and a Vauxhall car were damaged during the incident.

The bus eventually came to rest in Doreen Gustard’s garden, damaging her wall, block paving, the canopy on her front door and narrowly missing her front window.

She says she is lucky to have escaped injury as she was sitting in an armchair in front of the window just minutes before the crash.

Mother-of-one Mrs Gustard, who is married to John, said: “It’s just total devastation. “I heard a bang and saw a lot of lights.

“I looked outside and said to my husband ‘there’s a bus in the garden’.”

Grandfather-of-five Thomas Drysdale, 82, a retired teacher whose garden wall was damaged, said: “I was watching TV and there was just a bang.

“I was really scared to come out of the house, I was wondering what on earth had hit the house.

“I thought it was a meteor or a plane or something like that.

“But it was a bus.”

One 40-year-old, who did not wish to be named, thought her Suzuki Alto, which she only bought last month, and her son’s Ford Fiesta had escaped damage when the incident first happened around 10.15pm on Tuesday.

But her worst fears came true around 11.45pm when an unstable telegraph pole toppled onto the cars.

She said: “I think it’s unreal.

“Cars will repair, it’s the other people down the street I feel sorry for.”

Power was expected to be restored to all homes yesterday.

A 17-year-old male is being questioned by police, who also want to speak to a 20-year-old man in relation to the incident.

Witness are asked to call Peterlee CID on 0345 6060365 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.