Car rolls down hill into house after boy, four, releases handbrake
A FOUR-year-old boy had a lucky escape when he accidentally crashed his parents' car into a neighbouring house.
The child is understood to have released the handbrake while sitting alone in the vehicle, causing the silver car to roll forward and plunge down a steep bank, according to neighbours.
The vehicle travelled a few metres before clipping a parked car which sent it downhill towards a row of houses.
It plunged through a hedge and then ran into a neighbour's living room wall, 60m away.
The young boy was said to be shaken but unhurt. The car had been parked in a private car park outside the parents' home before the incident.
The car's airbags deployed during the crash.
Police confirmed they were called to the incident on Aylesbury Crescent in Whitleigh at around 8.30am yesterday.
PC Steve Dykes, a response officer, said: "Police and an ambulance were called to a car that had rolled down into a property.
"The child was absolutely fine and did not have a scratch on him. Thankfully, he was not injured. It could have been a lot worse.
"There was minor damage to the house, mainly to the rendering. He had clipped the back of a neighbour's car as well. The message is to put your car in gear when it's parked."
The car windscreen was shattered with the left side of the bonnet smashed in. The boy's father and owner of the car said he suspected it would be written off by mechanics.
Grant Callder, the tenant in the house which the vehicle crashed into, was at work down in the dockyard at the time.
He was called about the incident and returned to inspect the damage.
The 39-year-old said his main concern had been for the young child.
"I'm just glad the little boy is okay. I thank God for that," said the maintenance worker.
"If it wasn't for the hedge, then who knows what would have happened. It is a thick hedge and I think it could have stopped the momentum of the car. Otherwise it was just a brick wall in front of him.
"When the council bloke phoned me to say a car went though my house, I thought the worst. I was shocked but it was only later that I learnt it was the young lad that let the handbrake off.
"The inside of the house is okay, it's just a crack in the wall. Outside it's popped the window out. "
One neighbour said the impact shook her house.
She said: "I heard a big bang. When I came out, the boy had already been taken away. The mother came down to us to say he was really shaken and that he was worried he was going to get in trouble with the police. He was shook up but alright."
She added: "This has happened before but railings have still not been put up. If railings were there around the car park then the car wouldn't have gone any further."