Pensioner ‘lucky to be alive’ after car hits home

Dr. Charlie McGuigan, son of the elderly owner, pictured with Councillor Tony Hasson surveying the damage to the pensioner's bungalow at Oakgrove Cottages, Ballyarnett after a car crashed into the back of the house early on Sunday morning. DER0716MC002
Dr. Charlie McGuigan, son of the elderly owner, pictured with Councillor Tony Hasson surveying the damage to the pensioner's bungalow at Oakgrove Cottages, Ballyarnett after a car crashed into the back of the house early on Sunday morning. DER0716MC002
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A pensioner’s son has told of his mother’s horrifying experience when a car left the road in the early hours of Sunday morning, hitting her home.

Dr. Charlie McGuigan was speaking at his 83-year-old mother’s home at Oakbridge, just off the Lenamore Road yesterday.

He said, “We believe the car which hit my mother’s home, was stolen earlier that night. This is not the first time accidents have happened on this stretch of road; but it needs to stop.

“We believe the PSNI and Roads Service need to liaise together to put traffic calming measures in the area immediately.

“The car at the weekend came through a wire fence, a hedge, another wooden fence and concrete balustrades before it hit the oil burner house and wheelie bins.

“It hit the fence with such force that the fence posts ended up on the roof, causing considerable damage to the roof, with a number of tiles dislodged.

“If the car had not hit the fences then it could well have come through the house; my mother is lucky to be alive. She was absolutely petrified and didn’t leave her bedroom for fear of what she might find. My father only passed away last year and it was their wedding anniversary on the night this happened. ”

Michael O’Doherty, the landlord of the house, which is one of around 100 in the area, said, “All of the residents are over 50 and the damage here will cost thousands of pounds to repair.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Tony Hasson was also at the scene. “I completely condemn this sort of activity. It had quietened down for a while but has started up again in recent months.

“Hopefully the police will get enough evidence from the car to arrest and convict those responsible.

“I also have a meeting with Roads Service in the morning (Tuesday) and hopefully a safety barrier can be installed to stop this from happening again.”