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'I could've been killed,' says man after car smashes into his home

Marie Louise McConville

A WEST Belfast man has said he is lucky to be alive after a car crashed through the front of his home, narrowly missing him and the gas supply box.

The 53-year-old householder, who did not want to be named, was in the lounge of his Whiterock Road home, while his sister, who has learning difficulties, was upstairs when a speeding car smashed through an outer wall, and into the property on Tuesday night.

The man, who said he was "just six feet" from the car, was thrown back and on to the floor from the impact of the crash and on smelling petrol and seeing smoke from the car, ran to get his sister out of the house.

The impact of the crash reduced the hallway of the property to bricks and rubble but the man said he managed to get himself and his sister to safety through a back door.

It is believed three men were in the Ford Focus.

A 36 year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of drugs and motoring offences. 

Picture by Mal McCann

Police appealed for two men other who left the scene to contact them.

A post uploaded on the PSNI West Belfast read: "Woodbourne LPT officers are appealing for witnesses to assist in apprehending these males, one of whom was said to be wearing a hi-vis vest. We would also appeal for these suspects to make with contact with us ASAP....you left your mobile phones behind lads!!! #schoolboyerror".

Speaking to the Irish News today the householder told of the moment the car hit the property.

"I actually thought it was a gas explosion," he said.

 

"I couldn't see with all the smoke. The whole house shook. The front door actually came in. I ended up in the corner and I couldn't hear anything because it was that loud.

"I could see the car through the smoke and I was trying to see if there was anybody in it because I wasn't really sure what happened."

Picture by Mal McCann

The accident comes four months after the death of their mother and within a year of their brother being killed in a road accident in Spain.

"There's a sense of relief we are still alive," he said.

"I actually thought whoever was in the car was dead."

Sinn Féin councillor Steven Corr said the aftermath was a "scene of chaos and pandemonium".

"The ones who were in this car weren't kids, they were grown men........they could have killed somebody here last night.

"This community is just angry that for all the wrong reasons, this community has been in the news.

"We won't allow it to overshadow the good work going on in this community".

SDLP councillor Tim Attwood, who visited the family said they were "understandably very shocked".

"Those engaged in such activity should face the full brunt of the law," he said.

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