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Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Lucky escape in Sheerness as van slams through elderly woman Sheila Hillier's wall in Berridge Road

29 May 2014
by Hayley Robinson

Sheila Hillier, 86, was sitting in the front room of her Sheerness home contemplating making a cup of tea when she heard a loud bang.

It was only when she went outside to investigate that she discovered a white van embedded in the side of her house.

The minibus left a gaping hole in the side of Sheila Hillier’s home

The minibus left a gaping hole in the side of Sheila Hillier’s home

It is not the first time the property in Berridge Road has been hit.

About 40 years ago, a car came through the front corner of the house while Sheila's late mother Dorothia was sitting in an armchair just feet away.

The latest incident happened after the minibus was in a crash with what is believed to have been a silver Citroen at the junction with Winstanley Road.

A large amount of rubble in Sheila Hillier's home

A large amount of rubble in Sheila Hillier's home

Damage to the wall after a minibus crashed through

Damage to the wall after a minibus crashed through

Neighbour Stephanie Heaton examines the minibus crash damage

Neighbour Stephanie Heaton examines the minibus crash damage

Widow Mrs Hillier said: "I had just had my nap and I was thinking 'shall I make a cup of tea?' when there was this huge bang. When I saw it had come into the dining room I couldn't believe it. I was quite calm considering.

"People were looking in through the hole at first, so plastic sacks and wheelie bins were used to block it off."

A surveyor from Swale council inspected the building and declared it safe before arranging for the gap to be boarded up.

The crashed minibus punched a large hole into the wall

The crashed minibus punched a large hole into the wall

The great-grandmother added: "One of the builders joked I should serve burgers through it and make some money."

Neighbour Stephanie Heaton, whose house shook from the impact, has now started a petition.

It calls on Kent County Council's highways department to improve the road conditions to slow the traffic down after a number of accidents in the area.

This minibus ploughed into the side of 86-year-old Sheila Hillier’s Sheerness home

This minibus ploughed into the side of 86-year-old Sheila Hillier’s Sheerness home

The 34-year-old mother-of-two said: "In the past two years it's got worse. Only the other week there was an accident with a motorbike and a car.

"If you live around here you know Winstanley and Berridge Road are crossroads. If you don't, it's not very clear.

"There are white lines to stop at, but they've almost rubbed off, and 'give way' signs but people just don't seem to see them."

Stephanie Heaton - pictured with Connor Jones, eight, and 11-year-old Jack Rogers - with a petition

Stephanie Heaton - pictured with Connor Jones, eight, and 11-year-old Jack Rogers - with a petition

Ms Heaton added: "How nobody got hurt this time I'll never know.

"We just don't want anyone to die, whether it be a motorist, a pedestrian or a homeowner, because it is busy along here."

Click here for more news from Sheerness.

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