Shock as car ploughs into home

A FATHER has spoken of his horror after a high-powered sports car ploughed into his farmhouse in the middle of the night, missing the bedrooms where his children slept by just metres.

A FATHER has spoken of his horror after a high-powered sports car ploughed into his farmhouse in the middle of the night, missing the bedrooms where his children slept by just metres.

Tim Merrell was preparing for bed when a silver convertible Mercedes SL500 left the road and struck his home in Landwade Road, close to Exning, near Newmarket.

The incident, which happened shortly after midnight yesterday, while Mr Merrell's wife Virginie and daughters Emily, 12, Chloe, ten, and eight-year-old Daisy were also in the house.

The accident is the third of its type in recent years, with the family enduring two earlier crashes when cars spun into their garden, and has prompted Mr Merrell to call for safety improvements along the stretch.


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“It sounded like a massive explosion - I looked onto a scene of complete devastation,” said Mr Merrell, who feared for the safety of his two pet dogs after the car completely destroyed an annex to his farm where the animals slept.

“I just went onto auto-pilot and dealt with it problem by problem.

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“I immediately ran upstairs to get the children out and rang 999. Then I went back to pull the person out of the car.

“I didn't explain to the children what was going on, I just got them out.

“I smashed the window with my bare hands to pull the driver out and then the emergency services arrived.”

Mr Merrell also called a vet amid fears the two dogs, sleeping in the utility room housed in the annex, may be dead.

However he found one unharmed in the rubble while another made its own way out of the family's shattered home after crawling out of the debris.

“The house is now uninhabitable,” added Mr Merrell, who will now be staying with relatives. “Our life has been turned upside down.”

In one of the earlier crashes, a car veered off the road and landed upside down on top of Mr Merrell's own car.

Following the latest incident, the father-of-three said reinforced concrete posts in the hedge offered little defence and signage on the sharp bend was inadequate. He criticised Suffolk County Council for not doing enough to protect his home.

However despite the trauma, Mr Merrell said he and his family were determined to stay at the farmhouse - and urged the council to place a crash barrier on the nearby road.

“Something has to be done to protect us from repeated incidents,” he said.

A spokeswoman from Suffolk County Council said: “If residents from the local area have safety concerns they can write to the county council and we will look at their request.”

A police spokesman said officers were investigating the crash and would interview the driver of the vehicle when he recovers from his injuries.

The man, 42, from Isleham, near Newmarket, who has not been named, was taken to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge with serious but not life threatening injuries.

After the accident, engineers were called to assess the building's structure and to isolate the gas and electricity supplies, which ran through the utility room.

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