Joyriders ‘could have killed someone here’ after crashing into garden in Derry

A Derry mother has called for something to be done after joyriders ploughed through her garden and almost crashed into her home yesterday.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 9:58 am

The woman said it was only through chance that someone was not killed and said her infant son usually plays by the window inches from where the car came to a stop.

The shocking incident happened in the Derrymore area at around 4.55am yesterday morning.

The young mother, who has asked not to be named, said that this was far from an isolated episode as residents are routinely plagued by joyriders driving at speed on the road outside their homes.

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LEFT: The child at the window pictured just hours before the incident. RIGHT: The wall and fencing was destroyed due to the impact after joyrdiers smashed into the garden.

“It’s terrible, We are so, so lucky. It’s scary to think of what could have happened,” she told the Journal yesterday. “If the car had gone any further it would have went through the living room window. That’s where my baby sits. I have photos of him last night sitting playing with his toys there. If it had been earlier on, or if he had gotten up at that time of the morning, as being a wee baby he does sometimes, and that car came any further forward, the consequences don’t bear thinking about. If this had happened during the day and you were out doing gardening or playing with the wains, you wouldn’t stand a chance.”

The woman, who has lived in the house for several years, said that she has been living in fear “because of the constant joyriding”. “I said something bad is going to happen here. I told my husband one time they are going to land in somebody’s house, as a figure of speech. You don’t actually expect it to happen to you, although you are jumping out of your sleep constantly because of the noise. It scares the life out of you. It’s really bad. It is constant on that road.”

The woman said the walkway outside her home is part of a route frequented every day by early morning runners and walkers exercising. “If any of them had been there they could have been killed here,” she said.

The force of the impact demolished the garden wall and fencing, and the woman said two males got out of the vehicle and walked towards Hawthorn before returning to the vehicle after the collision. The woman said they were “in fits laughing” . She said one of them got behind the wheel to drive off again before spotting her husband after which they ran off.

The woman said the area had fantastic residents with great neighbours and said action was needed now, including increased patrols and safety measures to prevent a tragedy occuring on their doorsteps.

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Padraig Delargy, after speaking with the family, said: “I was really horrified to see yet another incident of joyriding in this area.

“This is something that has consistently been brought to our attention and we think more action is needed to prevent this. Police need to be working with residents to get this addressed and we will assist the residents in whatever way we can.”

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Detectives are appealing for witnesses and information after a car crashed into a garden wall causing a large amount of damage in the Derrymore area.

“Police received a report at approximately 5am that two males got out of the vehicle and made off on foot. A male was subsequently arrested and is currently in custody.

“Detectives are appealing to anyone who was in the area or who may have captured dash cam footage to make contact quoting ref. no. 159 06/01/22.”

“A report can also be made using the online reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org