Belfast Telegraph

Young family escape injury as lorry crashes on ungritted road

By Patrice Dougan

A mother and her young children have narrowly escaped injury after a lorry crashed through their garden wall.

Nicola McGratten had a rude awakening yesterday morning when the lorry careered into her garden, toppling a lamp-post against her Newtownbreda house.

The lorry lost control after sliding on ice at the bottom of the road at Orchard Mews.

Residents say this is the third time something like this has happened to homes in the area.

They have complained that the salt box has not been filled for two years, leaving them unable to grit the road.

Nicola, who lives with her two children, aged eight and three, described the moment the lorry hit her garden wall.

“I just heard a loud bang and looked out the window and saw the lamppost swinging and the wall demolished,” she said.

“It’s well it was during the morning because if my kids had have been out there they wouldn’t have had a chance whatsoever.

“I think if the lamppost wasn’t there it [the lorry] would have went right through into my living room.

“I’m still shaken up, it’s just frightening.”

She said the road has been an issue as it is not gritted in the winter.

“The box was filled the first year, but I don’t think it’s been filled for nearly two years,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Roads Service said the street was not “adopted” by them and was the responsibility of the developer.

The properties at Orchard Mews belong to Helm Housing association.

Its director of housing, Alan Rea, told the Belfast Telegraph the grit box on Orchard Mews had been the subject of vandalism in recent years.

“There has been a bit of a history of the salt box at this location being vandalised or damaged and the contents stolen,” he said.

“A replacement salt box was provided in February this year but the lid has since been vandalised and damaged, and so it was not filled earlier this month along with salt boxes in other areas.

“Another replacement box was ordered in early December and will be on-site by early next week.

“A second salt-box will also be provided.”

He confirmed that the housing association had spoken with Ms McGratten and had completed an inspection of the damage caused by yesterday’s incident.

The wall will be rebuilt next week.

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