Car plunged 20ft into garden

Christine Pilkington with son Stuart, right, at the scene in their back garden at Thornvale, Abram, where a delivery driver's vehicle slide down a 20ft drop
Christine Pilkington with son Stuart, right, at the scene in their back garden at Thornvale, Abram, where a delivery driver's vehicle slide down a 20ft drop

A DRIVER had a lucky escape after a brake failure led to his car sliding 20ft down a steep embankment to the edge of a back garden.

The delivery driver was manoeuvring on Davy Road in Abram when the mechanical gremlins left him unable to stop the black Toyota Corolla.

I was just in the kitchen making some coffee when there was this loud bang which sounded like an explosion

Stuart Pilkington

The car smashed through a fence and plunged through a dense tangle of bushes and shrubs before knocking down a fence panel at the bottom of the garden of a house in Thornvale.

Luckily the driver was unhurt and the car was unable to slide further towards the property as it became wedged tightly between a number of large tree stumps and a concrete fence post.

Stuart Pilkington, whose mum Christine lives at the house in Thornvale where the car came to rest, described the shocking incident which happened at around 9pm on Sunday.

Mr Pilkington, 35, said: “I was just in the kitchen making some coffee when there was this loud bang which sounded like an explosion.

“You could see the yellow lights of the car so at first I thought it was a fire.

“The car then came down towards the rear fencing.

“It was quite a shock and my mum is a bit shaken up. We were just lucky it wasn’t a truck or something like that, and it’s also fortunate the driver was OK.

“It was certainly a shock seeing big bright lights flashing in the garden.”

The driver was able to get out of the vehicle through a rear door and declined hospital treatment when approached by ambulance crews.

Fire crews who attended the scene said it was fortunate the car was only travelling at around five miles per hour and much of the vehicle’s momentum was slowed by the tangle of vegetation growing along the embankment.

Firefighters made the vehicle safe but also insisted on a tricky late-night rescue operation as the slope of the back garden meant the car would have continued travelling towards the house if the tree stumps had given way.

A rescue vehicle drove onto Davy Road and used a large hook to drag it back up the steep slope.

Fire crews spent around an hour at the scene, with the incident drawing an interested crowd of onlookers to Thornvale.

Mr Pilkington said he and his mother were not surprised a car had fallen down the bank as Davy Road is a cul-de-sac and does not have street lights.

He said the end of the road needs something more substantial than wooden fencing panels to protect vehicles from the drop on the other side.

He said: “We’ve almost been expecting something like this because we’ve said the road is dangerous since it was built.

“At night there are no street lights and if you drive along the road you will think it carries on when it doesn’t.

“It’s just a wooden fence at the end and it really needs some bollards or a barrier.”