A GROUP of teenagers had a miraculous escape on Monday night after a car left the road at speed, crossed a pavement and careered through a playground fence before smashing into a park bench.
The five 17-year-olds were sitting in the Moors Recreation Ground in Thatcham at 9.50pm on Monday when the white BMW M5 veered off The Moors and came hurtling towards them.
One of the teenagers told the Newbury Weekly News that “everything went in slow motion” as they watched in horror when the car narrowly avoided hitting a woman on the pavement as the driver tried to regain control of the vehicle before it smashed through the playground fence and headed for their bench.
The youngster, who asked not to be named, said “I just jumped off the bench and sprinted like nothing else”, adding that he could have been mown down by the car if his friend had not warned him of the impending danger.
“I turned round and saw two and half tonnes of metal heading towards me,” he said.
“It’s not the nicest thing and not what you expect when you’re hanging out with mates.
“You’re not really aware, your senses aren’t really that alert, you’re sort of calming down for bed time.
“If my friend hadn’t done that [warned me] it could have been a different situation and I wouldn't be talking to you now.”
He said onlookers heard a loud bang as the car took out a lamp post, which ended speared through the car’s windscreen.
Once the vehicle stopped its destructive path the shocked teenagers went to check on the driver and passenger.
However, the youngster said that the man carried the woman passenger out of the car before leaving the scene.
Nearby residents left their homes to investigate the commotion. Jane Hewett said that she rushed to the scene bare-foot to check if anyone had been injured.
“I thought ‘oh my God I could be looking at dead bodies here’.”
She then turned her attention to the woman that the car had missed by “absolute inches”.
“I gave her some sugar in water and a blanket. She was okay at first and then went into shock. She was really shook up by it. Afterwards she returned my blanket and said she was having flashbacks.”
Miss Hewett said that her partner, Martin Trent, and her daughter could have been seconds from death as they were leaving the house close to the time of the crash. “It’s an absolute miracle, it’s lucky there were no fatalities,” she said.
Resident Pamela Steer said: “It’s amazing that no one got hurt.”
Her husband Bob added that the lights in the house dimmed and a series of loud bangs went off as they heard the car hit the fence posts.
A spokeswoman for Thames Valley Police, Charlotte Redman, said that officers were investigating the incident and that anyone with information should call 101.
The BMW was towed away later that evening leaving Thatcham Town Council to pick up the cost for the damaged park.
The town council's deputy clerk, Mel Alexander, said that the authority was likely to claim on insurance.