October 25 2014 Latest news:
Emma Lake, Reporter
Friday, July 25, 2014
A family enjoying a holiday in the sun have been told they face six months in temporary accommodation after a double decker bus crashed into their home.
The out-of-service bus ploughed into the Ottley family’s empty home in Dagnam Park Square, Harold Hill, on Monday afternoon.
Natasha Ottley, 24, who had remained behind while her family went abroad, told them about the crash.
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. An insurance company assessor described the damage as similar to a cardboard box being twisted and said walls would need to be rebuilt.
The unmanned bus had rolled backwards from a bus stop in Dagnam Park Drive. It travelled at least 120 metres downhill before hitting the house, crossing a road and narrowly missing a road sign and a tree.
A change of shift meant that Natasha had a lucky escape.
She said: “It was lucky because I was supposed to have Monday off work but I rebooked it for Wednesday.
“I would have been indoors and my bedroom is at the front of the house.”
An eyewitnesses told the Recorder that the driver tried to board the empty bus as it rolled down a hill into the property.
Ken Davidson, the group’s head of bus operations said: “There were no reported injuries and damage to the property is currently being assessed.”
An investigation is ongoing.