Car ploughs into house

Householder Percy Charakupa (right) and his brother Fredrick
Householder Percy Charakupa (right) and his brother Fredrick

A FAMILY had a lucky escape after a car ploughed into their home in the early hours.

The silver BMW 3 Series crashed through a garden wall, across the garden and into the front of the house – but witnesses said it was lucky no-one was hurt.

Police and firefighters raced to Bruntoft Avenue, in the West View area of Hartlepool, and found the car smashed into the front of the house.

Student Percy Charakupa, 40, was in the house with his wife Rufaro, 30, three children Shaniz, 10, Chantelle, five, Cherise, two, and his brother Fredrick, 34, when they heard a huge bang.

Percy said the vehicle had sped past his children’s trampoline in the front garden and it could have resulted in tragedy if it had been during the day.

He said: “It could have been a lot worse. If this happened during the day my kids could have been playing outside. We are just grateful no-one was outside.

“Our little girl is still shaken by it now. Obviously the bang woke them all up.”

Next-door neighbour Darren Robbins, 32, took the family in after the smash.

The dad of three, who is a driver for MKM Building supplies and lives with wife Lisa, 33, said: “I didn’t know what was going on, I just heard a huge boom. It was like thunder. I was half asleep and thought it was one of the kids.

“The family have had a lucky escape.”

The driver fled the scene but police say a man is “helping police with inquiries”.

A spokesman for Stranton Fire Station said: “The car had gone through the wall, across the garden and into the house.

“It had cracked the wall of the house, but luckily it hasn’t gone through.

“The car was in exactly the same place when we arrived.”

The incident happened at around 5.15am this morning.

Two crews from the fire station attended and firefighters disconnected the battery in the car and ensured the area was safe.

Structural engineers from Housing Hartlepool were due to visit the property today to assess the damage.

A Cleveland Police spokesman said: “We received reports at about 5.15am this morning.

“A silver BMW 3 series car had crashed into the front of a property.

“The driver of the car wasn’t on the scene when we arrived, but we have since located a man, believed to be the driver, who is helping police with inquiries.”