Patrons of a Rastrick pub had a narrow escape when a van came crashing through the beer garden wall.
Landlord Steven Ingle has CCTV cameras outside the building and managed to catch it all on camera as the white Iveco long wheel based van failed to turn a corner and came straight at the wall outside the Junction Inn, on Ogden Lane, hitting a BT box first.
The first we knew of it was that we heard like a crunching sound. I went out the front door and couldn’t believe what I saw. - Steven Ingle
Fortunately many customers were inside the building when the accident happened on Easter Monday just before midnight, apart from one customer who was outside the front of the pub having a cigarette and was just a few metres away.
“The first we knew of it was that we heard like a crunching sound,” said Mr Ingle. “I went to go out to the beer garden to see what it was and found I couldn’t open the door.
“I went out the front door and couldn’t believe what I saw. I think that if the driver hadn’t hit the BT box first his vehicle would have most definitely come further into the garden and done a lot more damage.
“My customers were lucky as on the Saturday and Sunday with the lovely weather the garden was busy and so was Monday, but after a certain time we ask everyone to come inside. We had been test running the barbecue in preparation for St George’s Day, as I am planning to have a big barbecue a couple of days later on the 25th but if something isn’t done soon it could hamper what we can do. I have already lost a lot of potential custom and to get the garden open again I had to clear the rubble up myself.
“As well as the damage to benches it also damaged the plants and hanging baskets we had out and the CCTV wiring has also been damaged. It happened over a week ago and someone only came on Monday to put the barriers up and BT have looked at the damage a couple of times but that’s it.
“I put some red and white tape up initially that I had left over for marking a safe area for Bonfire Night, to at least highlight it to the public for their general safety. I am hearing that people’s phone lines are suffering because of this, whether it is they can only receive calls or only make them and their lines are crackling.
“The brewery has been out to assess the damage and will obviously want to get the necessary repairs done as soon as possible but as always these things end up in the hands of the insurers.”
Mr Ingle also added that when the wall is rebuilt it will be reinforced as an added safety measure.