October 2 2014 Latest news:
Sam Blewett and Emma Lake, Reporters
Monday, July 28, 2014
The driver of the double decker bus that crashed into a family’s home has been suspended pending an investigation.
The out-of-service 174 bus smashed into the Ottley family’s empty home in Dagnam Park Square, Harold Hill, on July 21.
The crash has left the house structurally unsafe with damage to the kitchen, staircase, porch, window and an exterior wall.
But a stroke of luck meant that no-one was in the house at the time and there were no injuries.
But the family, all of whom were on holiday at the time, must return to the possibility that they spend six months in temporary accomodation.
Daughter Natasha, 24, made a last minute change to her work shifts which meant she was not in the house at the time of the crash.
“I would have been indoors and my bedroom is at the front of the house,” she said.
But she did have to call her family abroad to report the state of their home.
She said: “They are quite distressed because they have nowhere to come home to.”
Natasha has been told it will take more than six months to repair the house. A
n insurance company assessor described the damage as similar to a cardboard box being twisted and said walls would need to be rebuilt.
An eyewitnesses told the Recorder that the driver tried to board the empty bus as it rolled down a hill into the property.
A spokesman for Stagecoach London said: “Stagecoach can confirm the bus driver has been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing.”
Family left homeless after bus crashes into their Harold Hill home
Exclusive: ‘Lucky’ shift change meant 24-year-old woman was at work when bus crashed into her Harold Hill home
Bus driver charged eight months after fatal double decker crash in Romford