Published: 17:02, 04 April 2022
| Updated: 17:24, 04 April 2022
Terrified residents thought a missile had hit Luton Road when a stolen Mercedes ploughed into parked cars and demolished a wall.
CCTV footage shows three men getting out of the car and fleeing the scene after crashing just before 8pm on Saturday night.
WARNING: Scenes from the accident and bad language
One pedestrian was lucky to escape with their life, having been walking on the opposite pavement at the moment the car careered off the road.
The incident follows a string of serious crashed in Luton Road, including a fatal crash in November last year, and residents and business owners are calling for action to improve safety.
Nathan Wynne, 42, said if it wasn't for the small perimeter wall outside his house, the vehicles would have crashed through his front wall.
"I was indoors and heard a bang," he said. "It sounded like a missile coming down. We jumped up and froze and were waiting for another explosion.
"It shook the house. I'm just glad we've got the wall that stopped it coming through the window. It could have been ten times worse.
"It looked like there were six cars involved - four of them were write-offs. They were just all parked outside."
He said it was time action was taken before more lives were lost.
"There's been quite few bad crashes," he added. "A week before Christmas someone was killed, and it's lucky no one was this time.
"I'd say in the last five years there's been six or seven bad crashes where they've had to close the road.
"You've got kids walking along here, and there's a school just down the road. I think the whole road needs something done about it."
"When I was talking to the police I said something needs to be done, whether its speed bumps or something else, but on Saturday it wouldn't have mattered, because they've stolen a car."
Two doors down the road, Daniel Dimitrov, 47, was upstairs at Agrico Workforce when the Mercedes crashed into his Ford Focus parked outside.
"I was on the second floor," he said. "I heard the hit, and people started screaming. I looked out the window and I saw my car wasn't there.
"I went down to see what had happened - there was police and an ambulance.
"I'm happy no one was walking on the pavement - if someone was there they would be dead."
He said his car was written off, and was currently struggling to get insurers to provide a courtesy car.
"It was my buddy," he said. "Ten days ago I got it MOT'd and repaired."
Asen Gyunelievn, who runs Agrico Workforce added: "It puts unsuspecting victims into difficult situations. He needs to get to work but he can't and it's not his fault.
"It doesn't matter if the car was stolen if he's not the person that caused the accident."
And he also said action needed to be taken to improve road safety, adding: "they need a speed camera and speed bumps."
Thomas Ryan, who lives nearby, said the crash "sounded like a bomb going off", and said the occupants of the Mercedes ran from the car.
"It was carnage," he said. "I don’t know how they managed to run from the car. It had hit the first parked car shoving it onto the pavement and through the brick walls of the houses, then it’s hit the next car, ripped that car apart and then it just concertinaed the rest of the cars.
"Everyone was out of their houses to see what happened. The police fire and ambulance service were there pretty quickly although no one was injured luckily.
"They made sure the car hadn’t gone through the electric or gas mains."
"It’s the third serious crash in almost the same place this year," he added. "It’s actually starting to get scary walking down the streets. I’m always listening out for tyres or loud engines just in case.
"Something needs to be done to slow the vehicles down before someone else dies."
Peter Petersen, 62, whose brother lives in the street also backed call for action to improve safety on Luton Road.
"There's been quite a few crashes," he said. "there was one before Christmas when someone died, and then another crash the next day.
"They need to do something."
Kent Police confirmed they were called at 7.56pm on Saturday to a report of a collision in Luton Road, Chatham.
A statement added: "One vehicle, which was alleged to have been stolen, is reported to have collided with two parked vehicles and a garden gate.
"The driver of this vehicle is believed to have left the scene prior to police arrival. No serious injuries were reported.
"Enquiries are ongoing into the circumstances surrounding the incident."