Loughwood Bend: Driver lucky to be alive

PUBLISHED: 11:43 26 August 2009 | UPDATED: 00:03 16 June 2010

WRITE-OFF: Janet Sainsbury's Mercedes, which was crushed by a VW Golf that landed in her garden.

WRITE-OFF: Janet Sainsbury's Mercedes, which was crushed by a VW Golf that landed in her garden.

Copyright Archant Ltd

AN Axe Valley couple are calling for crash barriers to be installed on a bend near their home after a car ploughed through trees and landed on top of their Mercedes before ending up embedded in the garden.

AN Axe Valley couple are calling for crash barriers to be installed on a bend near their home after a car ploughed through trees and landed on top of their Mercedes before ending up embedded in the garden.

Paul Sainsbury, 63, and his wife, Janet, 50, were in the study of their home, Loughwood House, on the A35 when they were startled by a series of loud noises in the early hours of last Tuesday.

"All of a sudden, there was a funny noise," said Paul. "Then there was a crash, followed by a thud. The house shook.

"I looked out of the window and could see a car in the middle of our garden with its headlights on."

The couple, who have been refused permission to install fencing on the bend, feared the car's driver was dead.

"I sent Janet to check on the driver while I called the police," said Mr Sainsbury, a retired civil servant.

"The driver was out of the car and profusely apologetic. He was a very nice person and escaped with just a few scratches."

The Sainsbury's, who have owned Loughwood House for 18 years, say the crash caused devastation in their garden.

Janet's Mercedes ML was written off, conifer trees were destroyed and shards of glass and other debris littered the garden.

The accident victim's VW Golf was also written off.

"There are no 'Slow' markings on the road and no chevrons - nothing," said Mr Sainsbury.

"We need crash barriers on Loughwood Bend (also known as Pig Loose Bend) and, ultimately, a 40mph speed limit before somebody is killed."

Alexis Wood, contract manager for the A35, said Loughwood Bend has not been identified as an accident blackspot - unlike bends on the approach to Honiton, which are currently undergoing safety improvements.

She said she is willing to hear from anybhody with safety concerns, but pointed out the process of gaining crash barriers can take a long time and has to be shown to be value for money.


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