A mum and her two children have been forced to leave their home after a motorist crashed his car into their house... before asking for a cigarette.
Laura Myerscough watched in horror through a living room window as a Ford Fiesta, driven by a suspected drink driver, careered down the road, mounted the pavement and smashed through a wooden fence, before hitting her rented property in Barn Meadow, Clayton Brook, near Bamber Bridge.
Laura, 42, said her eight-year-old son Marcel had been standing outside the house with her close friend Jenna Gaskell minutes before the incident.
And the pair of friends said the first thing the driver did after getting out of the car was ask them for a cigarette – while a female passenger lay slumped unconscious in the front seat.
Laura, who suffers from ME, said: “Five minutes earlier it would have been Jenna and my son hit by the car.
“It was like something out of a film. Marcel is shaken up and so am I. But I just think ‘thank God, thank you that he’s okay’.
“If it had come through the living room we could all be dead. Places for People has told me I could be out of my home for two to three months.”
Police and firefighters were called to the scene at around 8.45pm on Wednesday.
Firefighters had to cut the vehicle open to rescue the female passenger.
The 43-year-old woman was taken to hospital by ambulance after suffering an open fracture to her left leg, a pelvic injury and a head injury.
Police said the driver of the car, a 52-year-old man from Bamber Bridge, was arrested on suspicion of drink driving.
He is not thought to have suffered any injuries in the incident.
A 33-year-old man who was in the back of the car was said to have suffered chest pain.
Jenna, 25, who helps care for Laura, said: “I heard a screeching noise and saw a car flying down the hill. I thought ‘oh my days, that’s coming too quick’.
“Suddenly all the wood and debris flew up at the window.
“I went outside and all I could see was her leg hanging out of the front window of the car.
“It was horrible. She looked dead. Her eyes were shut.
“The driver got out and I said ‘open the door’. He said ‘have you got a fag?’
“I checked to see if she was still alive, then Laura rang 999.”
Ten firefighters spent more than an hour and a half at the house, using specialist equipment to sure up the front of the building.
The gas and electricity to the property had to be switched off as a gas pipe was damaged and the family have been told it is not safe to live in the house.
Laura, Marcel and her 16-year-old son Marlon have now gone to stay with friends.
Places for People staff met with the family yesterday morning to arrange short-term accommodation for them.
A spokesman for the housing association, which owns the property, said: “We are pleased to hear Miss Myerscough was not injured in the incident.
“We are providing support to Miss Myerscough to re-house her, should it be necessary due to the level of repair works needed to her home.”