Devizes pensioner escapes as car smashes into home
9:30am Friday 20th September 2013 in News
HOMEOWNER Dereka Dodson said she is lucky to be alive after a car ploughed into her house, demolishing most of the downstairs wall.
Dr Dodson, a retired dental surgeon, was in bed upstairs when a BMW crashed into her terraced home in Station Road, Devizes, just before 12.20am on Sunday.
She managed to escape unhurt and is now staying with neighbours while waiting to hear how long repairs will take.
Dr Dodson, 69, said: “I was lying in bed trying to get to sleep and playing music and I heard this terrible squealing and screeching noise and then a great big crash and the house shook. I got up and came downstairs. It was a bit frightening. I thought it was smoke but in fact it was brick dust. Then I saw I didn’t have a wall and people were looking in.
“It was surreal. The impact was such that bricks had flown across the sitting room. I was treading on bricks. It was like looking at something on the TV, like a bombsite, devastation. There was a hole in the ceiling and I’m lucky the bed didn’t come through the ceiling. I am very lucky and the driver is very lucky.
“My electricity supply was in a cupboard behind the far end of the wall and luckily the car didn’t hit it. It was just lucky I was in bed because sometimes I stay up downstairs on my computer. If I had been I would have been hit by flying bricks and glass.”
An off-duty doctor from the Royal United Hospital, Bath, heard the noise and went to check that she was okay. She did not need medical treatment.
Fire crews from Devizes and Salisbury removed rubble and put in big metal props to make the building safe.
Dr Dodson was taken in by her neighbours, Tina and Nigel Cross, and added: “I got to bed at 5am. I just lay there saying ‘thank you that nobody has been hurt’.”
Mrs Cross said: “If Dereka had been sitting in a particular chair in her sitting room when the crash happened she would have been killed. The fire brigade were exceptional. They kept us informed every step of the way. We thank them for their help, it’s quite emotional.”
Dr Dodson thanked the off- duty doctor and her boyfriend for their assistance.
The car involved in the crash was taken away by police to be examined after the driver, a 30-year-old local man, told them that there was a malfunction.
The driver, who was uninjured, was breathalysed and the test was negative. He was not arrested.
This was the second occasion Dr Dodson has escaped with her life. In 1980 she and her partner were shipwrecked when their yacht sank in the Atlantic Ocean off America. Her partner died while Dr Dodson was alone on a life raft for four days until she was rescued.
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