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Car crashes into pensioners' Scarning home for third time

PUBLISHED: 14:00 28 August 2010 | UPDATED: 09:17 16 September 2010

Victoria Leggett

A pile of bricks in the garden, police tape along the hedges and support poles propping up the bay window.

When a car crashed through the wall of Brian and Pauline Coleman's home, it left a trail of destruction which will take months to put right.

A pile of bricks in the garden, police tape along the hedges and support poles propping up the bay window.

When a car crashed through the wall of Brian and Pauline Coleman's home, it left a trail of destruction which will take months to put right.

But for the Dereham pensioners, the sound of the Peugeot 406 smashing into their living room was all too familiar after it became the third car in five years to drive into their house.

“It was the usual,” said Mr Coleman, 77, yesterday. “It was hell of a crash. It sounds like an aircraft crashing, it makes such an horrendous noise.

“I looked out of the window and I could see it was us again.”

The car had been driving along Drayton Hall Lane at Scarning from the A47 towards the Dereham Road when it came off the road.

It shunted the corner of the window into the house and structural engineers have had to erect support poles for fear it could collapse.

But it could have been far worse. The sofa in front of the window was tipped over and forced forwards almost 6ft by the car.

Mr Coleman, a retired electrician, said: “If we had been sitting here, we would have had a nice ride across the living room.

“We always sit here on the settee. We have hardly used the chairs.”

Instead, when it happened at just after 5pm on Thursday, Mr Coleman was sitting in the study while his 71-year-old wife was upstairs in her sewing room.

Police and fire crews came out but it was not until 11.30pm that the car, whose driver was unhurt, could be towed away.

The couple will now have to go through a lengthy insurance process to get the house repaired for the third time after similar crashes in May 2006, when the same bay window was hit, and November 2007, which destroyed their fence and damaged the garage.

Mr Coleman, who has lived on Welden Road, Scarning, for 17 years, said he wanted the county council to make sure it did not happen again.

“The problem is people are driving too fast along here,” he said, although it is not clear what cause this accident. “The county council is supposed to be in charge of this but until somebody gets killed they won't do anything about it. They should at least put some signs up.”

Last night, a council spokesman said the road did not have a bad casualty record, 30mph signs at either end of the road were clear to see and road markings on the bend had been improved. John Birchall said the council recognised “repeat accidents of this sort must be frustrating and worrying for the householder” but added: “It is not possible to use repeated '30' signs where street lighting is in place.

“Enforcement of the speed limit is a matter for the police and the safety camera partnership.”

Mr Coleman said, despite now facing months of disturbance while the house is repaired again, he and his wife would not be moving.

He said: “I'm a bit too old now to start moving. We wouldn't want to start over again - it's a bit too late for us to start again.”


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