October 25 2014 Latest news:
by Sam Gelder
Thursday, August 7, 2014
One minute you’re relaxing on a Spanish beach, the next you are being told a bus has crashed into your home.
The Harold Hill family whose house was destroyed when a driverless double-decker rolled into it last month have revealed they have had no apology from Stagecoach or TfL about the “farcical” situation that ruined their two-week holiday and has left them homeless for six months.
“No-one has called to say sorry,” said Ian, who was enjoying a summer break with wife Sharon and daughters Danielle, 17, and Gemma, 16, when 24-year-old daughter Natasha phoned to tell him what had happened.
“I laughed when Tasha told me and said ‘what are you talking about? A bus has gone into our house? How the hell has that happened?’” Pictures of the crash spread on Twitter and before long had reached the family, who were in shock.
But after the insurance company informed Ian they would be coming back to a hotel room, they decided to stay in Spain.
“They told us there was no point going back, but the holiday was totally ruined. We were constantly talking about it.”
The Ottleys returned last Friday, and are staying in a hotel and trying to find another property while their house in Dagnam Park Square is rebuilt.
Sharon’s car was also written off, but Ian believes it could have been worse.
“If we hadn’t been on holiday Gemma and Danielle would have been in the house and they wouldn’t have been able to get out,” said Ian.
Natasha, who works in insurance, had to deal with the media attention and the immediate aftermath by herself.
“She did brilliant,” said Ian. “Her line of work meant she did better than I would have done, and she was chasing people off outside the house.”
A Stagecoach spokesman told the Recorder: “We have been in contact with the family to offer assistance. We are sorry for the upset and inconvenience caused.”