Harold Hill bus crash family on ‘nightmare’ year
- Credit: Archant
A family whose home was destroyed when a driverless bus rolled into it has put a “nightmare year” behind them.
The Ottleys, of Dagnam Park Square, were forced out of their house for eight months while repair work was carried out.
On July 21 last year, a 174 double decker bus rolled down Dagnam Park Drive, around bollards in the middle of the road at an almost impossible angle and smashed into the front of their house.
To make matters worse, Ian and wife Sharon were relaxing on a Spanish beach with daughters Danielle, 18, and Gemma, 17, when their older sister Natasha, 25, who had stayed at home, phoned to tell them the news.
The whole structure of the house was damaged, making the upstairs unlivable. As a result the family had to stay in a hotel for two months and then rent a house nearby for another six, while the insurance details were hammered out.
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“It was stressful,” said Ian. “It’s hard work being out of your house. It was a bit of a nightmare.
“The night we moved back in we all sat down and ate and it was strange because it didn’t feel like we’d been out.
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“We’ve been here 18 years so it’s a long time.
“Now it feels like nothing has happened, it’s a bit strange to think about it now.”
The family’s insurance issues have almost been finalised.
Bus operator, Stagecoach, confirmed to the Recorder the driver who was in charge of the bus no longer works for the company, but wouldn’t say if his departure was related to the incident.
To this day, Ian still has no idea how the bus managed to turn at an almost 90 degree angle from the road into his house.
“People are always coming past and no one can believe it,” he said.
“If you got a bus driver and said reverse it into that house not one of them would be able to do it.
“It must have hit a curb and changed direction, I’d love to see a video of it happening.”