Published: 06:00, 22 June 2021
| Updated: 13:39, 24 June 2021
A gran who popped outside for a late-night cigarette says she was inches from death as a runaway car smashed into her garden.
Nicola West was heading to her summer house at her Strood home when she heard screeching tyres and a woman screaming in the early hours of Sunday.
The damage caused to the garden and barriers can clearly be seen
Seconds later the vehicle smashed through a reinforced metal barrier, broke down a fence and landed at the back of her property.
The 57-year-old says it's the seventh time an accident has happened in Station Road, Strood, since she moved in 22 years ago.
One of the incidents was where an elderly woman and her daughter were tragically killed as they crossed the street. The mum-of-three says she fears it's a matter of time before another fatal accident happens.
She won't allow her young grandchildren to play outside, fearing they might get injured by a speeding driver.
It was about 1.45am when Nicola heard the all-familiar warning signs of a car driving at high speed, and ran out of the way.
She turned back and saw two men in the car make off leaving a trapped young passenger with facial injuries.
A neighbour managed to free her while first-aider Nicola dialled 999 and sat with her waiting for paramedics.
The granny, who lives on the junction in Evelyn Close, said accidents are caused by motorists who ignore the 30mph speed limit.
She successfully campaigned for steel barriers to be installed on the stretch she describes as a "rat run" for traffic, including lorries.
But she still lies in bed waiting for another accident to happen on her doorstep.
Since moving in back in 1999, she and her husband have spent thousands on their garden, including decking and landscaping.
"This road is dangerous, people speed like lunatics up and down it, 90% do not adhere to the 30mph speed limit," she said.
"I face trauma going out to these vehicles of not knowing injuries or deaths.
"Treating casualties and speaking to 999 is having an effect now.
"Every time we hear a speeding car we hold our breath waiting for the crash. We are on edge all the time.
"All the time you hear tyres clipping the island in the middle of the road and screeching tyres."
The latest incident left wreckage from the car strewn across several gardens.
She said: "It was chaos, obliteration. There must have been seven in the car and they were crawling out the boot.
"The woman was screaming her head off. I tried to get to her over the debris but I ripped my pyjamas and had to go round the back to get to her."
Nicola, who runs her own beauty products business – Aurora Dreaming, launched during lockdown – is now fighting for further safety measures, including speed bumps.
In July 2009, Elsie Blades, 84, and her daughter Marilyn Herlihy, 60, were killed by a car as they crossed the road near the junction of Bowes Road.
Mrs Blades was pronounced dead at the scene. Her daughter was airlifted to a London hospital but later died.
Rich Airey, the ambulance service spokesman, said two ambulances and two cars were sent following reports of possible multiple injuries.
Two people, including a woman were taken to Medway Maritime Hospital.
Police say inquiries are ongoing to locate the driver of the car who had left the scene prior to officers' arrival.