‘I should’ve been dead’

Angela Gardiner at home in Walsden.
Angela Gardiner at home in Walsden.

A woman is “lucky to be alive” after a van crashed into her house and stopped just inches away from where she was sitting.

Angie Gardiner, of Rochdale Road, Walsden, was sitting on her sofa having a cup of tea and watching the news on Friday morning when her breakfast was interrupted by a massive bang.

A blue Toyota Hiace van came off the road at about 7.45am, ploughed through railings and crashed into the front room of Angie’s grade II listed house, sending debris flying across her lounge.

“I started screaming,” she said. “It was like everything was tingling.

“It was just the shock of it all.”

The force of the impact moved furniture in the room.

“It pushed the coffee table and sofa,” she said.

“The rubble stopped just inches from my head. I can’t get up without my walking stick because I have osteo-arthritis. But somehow I managed to get up really quickly.

“I had a lucky escape. Someone was watching over me.

“I should have been dead. It was total devastation.”

Angie, 59, praised the emergency services, Calderdale Council and her insurance company for their quick response, and also her family, friends and neighbours for their support.

“It’s going to take a while to get things sorted but everybody has been brilliant,” she said.

She hopes Calderdale Council will replace the damaged railing by the roadside.

“I hope they do because I will be really nervous,” she said.

“I will not be sitting by the window.”

Geoff Willerton, Calderdale Council’s head of planning and highways, said: “As soon as the incident happened last Friday, our rapid response team visited the site, did a thorough investigation and took all the steps required to make the railings safe.

“We will be planning the repairs in line with the criteria that we use to make sure funding is directed to where it’s needed most.”

Fire crews attended to make the building safe.

The driver of the van was treated for minor injuries at the scene and taken to hospital for a check-up.