December 10 2013 Latest news:
Friday, August 16, 2013
A great-grandmother has spoken of her shock after her car was wrecked when a BMW ploughed into a row of parked vehicles during a police chase.
Josephine Aldridge, 75, saw her Volkswagen written off by insurers after the smash outside her home in Lyndhurst Gardens, Hampstead, last week.
The BMW collided with a stationary red Peugeot with such force that Mrs Aldridge’s car, parked behind the Peugeot, was shunted up the road and left with a crushed bonnet and front grille.
Mrs Aldridge, who has eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, said she usually drives every day to do the shopping, visit church and give lifts to elderly friends.
She said: “It’s a huge shock. I just can’t believe something like that can happen.
“I was about to go and pick up my grandchildren when it happened. I used it every day.
“It was just awful. We’re pleased that nobody got hurt.”
All three cars were written off and Mrs Aldridge faced an anxious wait before learning this week that she would receive enough from the insurance payout to buy a new car.
Police were attempting to stop the BMW in Finchley Road after a routine check showed it was being driven without insurance.
Officers began their chase at about 12.40pm and pursued the car to Lyndhurst Gardens, where the driver lost control.
Four suspects fled on foot and are still at large. Witnesses said they escaped through the playground at St Christopher’s primary school.
In a bizarre twist, a DVD copy of a film called Crash also fell out of the BMW.
“We did have a laugh about that,” said Mrs Aldridge.
Mrs Aldridge’s son Nick, 49, who bought the car for his mother, said there were no hard feelings towards police for chasing the speeding car. He said they were “just doing their jobs”.
While his mother was made to wait to find out whether her insurance company would cover the cost of replacing the vehicle, both the other cars were immediately written off.
Cllr Chris Knight, a Hampstead Town councillor, said: “Police said they had given chase to the vehicle and because it was a high-powered BMW, it had made ground on them.
“The police then chased them on foot after they literally just jumped out and legged it. They escaped over the school wall and through the playground.”
Photographer Charlie Bard, 25, who lives in Lyndhurst Gardens, said: “I was up late for a shoot and it woke me up. That was an interesting way to wake up – sirens followed by a large bang.
“When I looked out the window there were two police cars and three damaged cars. The BMW was crashed into a red car and on the pavement.”
Police do not yet know if the BMW was stolen.