Car that was doing doughnuts in Upminster car park crashes through fence and bursts into flames
PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 June 2018 | UPDATED: 18:16 28 June 2018
Residents heard screams as they saw three girls escaping from the burning vehicle.
A car that was doing doughnuts in an Upminster car park crashed through a fence into a resident’s garden and burst into flames.
Police, fire and ambulances were called to Hoppy Hall car park, in Elm Avenue on Friday (June 22) night at around 9pm.
Firefighters used water and foam to tackle the blaze.
Residents heard screams as they saw three girls escaping from the burning vehicle, and several loud bangs as the car went up in flames.
One resident said: “I was on the other side of the road and fortunately wasn’t in my house.
“I was worried that my windows would have been blown out.
“I called the police and the fire brigade.
“The girls who were in the car managed to get out, and I wasn’t sure if any of them were injured.
“I heard the girls screaming, it was scary.
“The tree next to my house has been burnt and my garden has been ruined. “They must have come in at some speed to go straight through the fence.
“Joy-riding and people doing skids in the car park has been a big problem.
“The council told me when they took the car away that they are going to put cameras in the car park, and are going to change the gate so that they can lock it.”
The car was taken away by Havering Council yesterday (Tuesday, June 26).
Councillor Osman Dervish, Cabinet Member for Environment, told the Recorder: “We are only aware of one report of ASB in the Hoppy Hall car park this year and it is not considered as being high risk.
“The events of the weekend were unfortunate and for which the driver of the vehicle has accepted full liability for.
“The car park currently has an automated barrier in place which closes access to the car park after 8pm but which permits users of the car park to be able to exit at any time.
“This type of barrier was introduced many years ago and is an effective measure which prevents customers from being locked in the car park, whilst striking a balance for visitors to local businesses in the area.
“At this stage there are no plans to reintroduce closure of the car park by a manual intervention, but we will of course continue to monitor and assess that.
“The council will make arrangements to secure the fence of the resident concerned pending insurance investigations/ outcomes.”
Anjana Acharya, 59, wasn’t at home when the car crashed through the fence but her husband Krish was and he saw everything.
Anjana said: “He ran upstairs because he heard what he thought was an explosion.
“He was worried about what had happened, and then he saw the huge flames.
“He called the fire brigade but I think they were already on their way.”
Residents who live close-by in Stewart Avenue, said that this has been an ongoing problem with anti-social behaviour in the car park over the last few months.
Carol Heath, 64, who lives with her husband David Heath, 70 in Stewart Avenue said: “There were six other cars there and then as soon as police came they all sped off.
“We’ve got problems all year round with kids and their cars.
“They are always speeding around the car park and playing loud music.
“You can hear the screeches from their tyres.
“The barrier that is there is completely useless.
“It hasn’t worked for months.”
Mark Gray, 53, who also lives on the road said that he thinks bringing back a gate that is locked at night isn’t necessarily the answer.
He said: “The car park is used by people who visit restaurants on the high street, and if they weren’t able to park there then they would park down our road.
“We’ve had double yellow lines put in place on our road because at one point emergency services weren’t able to get down the street because of cars being double parked.”