Coach plunges into apartment block in Muswell Hill
PUBLISHED: 12:04 04 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:11 07 September 2010
A mother has spoken of her horror after a coach smashed through the front wall of her home while her baby daughter slept in the next room. Samantha Brain was in the first floor flat in Muswell Hill when the vehicle ploughed backwards through her bay windo
A mother has spoken of her horror after a coach smashed through the front wall of her home while her baby daughter slept in the next room.
Samantha Brain was in the first floor flat in Muswell Hill when the vehicle ploughed backwards through her bay window, knocking her across the room.
"I heard a crash outside so I went over to the window," she said. "I looked out and that's when I saw the coach coming towards me. It all happened in just a few seconds."
The back end of the coach broke through the window of the Hollybank flat and struck a large armchair, pushing it into a table which hit Ms Brain and sent her flying.
Meanwhile Ms Brain's neighbour Caroline Macaulay, who lives in the downstairs flat, described the terrifying moment the coach struck at 2.30pm last Thursday.
"I was in the back bedroom and I was trapped," she said. "Everything went black and started shaking and I thought the building was going to explode. I just started climbing over the rubble and then I was running for my life."
Witnesses reported seeing the private coach travelling uphill in the road when it appeared to develop mechanical problems and break down.
Shortly after police officers were seen escorting the vehicle backwards before it struck a black BMW and ploughed into the flats.
A police spokesperson said it would be inappropriate to comment on the incident while investigations were being carried out.
Ms Brain was left with cuts and bruises after the smash but her first instinct was to run and check on her seven-month-old daughter Mia who was sleeping in the next room, who escaped unscathed.
She and her partner Danny Higgins, and Ms Macaulay and her husband and their three-year-old daughter are now all homeless and face a wait of up to four months before they will be allowed back into their flats.
Mr Higgins, who was working in the City at the time of the incident, said: "If there hadn't been a bollard in the way or if the coach hadn't hit the BMW first then it could have been much worse. She could have been dead.
"I'm just so grateful no one was seriously hurt."
Ms Macaulay added: "I'm so thankful it happened when it did. If it had been in the evening or at the weekend I could have been watching television with my husband with my daughter playing in the front room."
She has since launched a campaign to urge the council to erect a crash barrier outside the flats.
The coach was empty at the time apart from the driver who was taken to hospital, although his injuries were not serious.
He was later arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and has been bailed until September.