Exclusive: ‘Lucky’ shift change meant 24-year-old woman was at work when bus crashed into her Harold Hill home
15:42 22 July 2014
A 24-year-old woman has had a lucky escape after a last minute shift change meant she was at work when a double decker bus crashed into the front of her house.
Natasha Ottley’s change of heart ensured her safety when the 174 service bus hit her house in Dagnam Park Square, Harold Hill, yesterday afternoon.
The crash has left the house structurally unsafe with damage to the kitchen, staircase, porch, window and an exterior wall.
Natasha said: “It was lucky because I was supposed to have yesterday off work but I rebooked it for Wednesday.
“I would have been indoors and my bedroom is at the front of the house.”
Natasha was told about the crash by a friend - she said that when she was given the news she thought it was a joke.
Emergency services were called to the scene at 2.15pm after the out of service double decker bus rolled backwards from its stand in Dagnam Park Drive.
An eyewitnesses told the Recorder that the driver tried to board the empty bus as it rolled down a hill into the property.
Natasha lives in the house with her parents and two sisters, who are currently on holiday in Spain.
When she was confronted by the sight of the bus embedded in her home she had one immediate concern.
“We have a pet rabbit my mum is devoted to,” she said.
“It was right near the stairs, near the front of the house. My reaction was ‘I do not care about the house just get the rabbit out’.”
Twinkle, a seven-year-old rabbit had glass in her cage, but was otherwise safe.
Natasha has been told the house is structurally unsafe and stayed with friends last night. She has spoken to her family and said “They are quite distressed because they have no where to come home to”.
TfL has launched an investigation.
Ken Davisdson, the group’s head of bus operations said: “There were no reported injuries and damage to the property is currently being assessed. There will be an investigation into this incident.”