Two cars crash into home in 7 hours

A HOMEOWNER last night urged road bosses to improve safety measures on a busy stretch of the A12 after two cars ploughed into the front of her cottage just hours apart.

A HOMEOWNER last night urged road bosses to improve safety measures on a busy stretch of the A12 after two cars ploughed into the front of her cottage just hours apart.

Ann Burgess, who lives in Buttercup Cottage on the southbound carriageway close to the East Bergholt turnoff, was speaking out following a “nightmare” eight hours.

The first accident happened around 6.30am when a blue Mondeo ST careered into the crash barriers before spinning out of control, skidding backwards down the carriageway, smashing through a fence and then ploughing into the front of the house.

When emergency crews arrived, the car was wedged into the front of the cottage, between Cutlers Lane and Woodgate Road, having caused damage to a section of brickwork near the front door.

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A little over seven hours later, around 1.40pm, a second car, a Toyota people carrier, left the carriageway and ended up hurtling towards the same house - narrowly missing engineers who were clearing up after the original accident.

No one was hurt as a result of either incident but Mrs Burgess, who lives with her husband Bill, said she hoped it would be a wake-up call to highways bosses.

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She said: “It has been an absolute nightmare. It's incredibly bad luck but I'm just relieved no one was injured. It has never happened before in 21 years of living here and I cannot believe it has happened twice in a day.

“Of course living on the A12 things like this cross your mind but you never let it worry you. I just hope now the authorities will do something to improve safety on the road.

“Drivers speed along here like there's no tomorrow and yet nothing has been done. We have asked for measures to be put in place - even if it is just a 'slow' sign at the bottom of the hill but so far nothing.

“Once everything is repaired I don't think we'll have any front garden, we'll just make sure it's like Fort Knox.”

Mrs Burgess, 60, said at the time of the first accident she was awake because she was about to take her husband, 67, for an eye operation at Ipswich Hospital.

“The noise was so loud I thought it was a lorry,” she said. “There was dirt, dust and soot everywhere and the smell of petrol fumes was unbearable. I was worried that they were going to catch fire but luckily it was fine.

“It was so black that I couldn't actually see across the room to find out what type of vehicle it was. I phoned the emergency services straightaway but the driver was fine and was walking up and down on his mobile phone.

“At the time of the second accident I was in the kitchen and thought at first the wall had collapsed on the engineers. It was then I heard one of them shouting and realised another car had crashed into the front room. I think it hit the workmen's' truck before coming to a stop.”

A spokesman for the Highways Agency, which is responsible for maintenance and safety measures on that stretch of the A12, said the authority was investigating the cause of the accidents.

n There were a series of accidents caused by yesterday's treacherous driving conditions but there were no reports of any serious injuries.

Ipswich weatherman Ken Blowers said more than half an inch of rain fell across east Suffolk - putting August firmly on course to be one of the wettest on record - and warned there was still more to come.

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