An elderly Cookstown woman said she was left in a state of shock after a car driven by a suspected drink-driver crashed into her garden on Saturday afternoon.
he pensioner, who did not wish to be named, said she was sitting by her front window when the car crashed through her garden fence, with only that impact preventing the vehicle from smashing through the front of her home.
The driver of the car, a 17-year-old female, has been charged with a number of driving offences following the collision, which happened in the Co Tyrone town’s Coolnafranky Park.
She is expected to appear at Dungannon youth court on June 7 following the usual procedure of charges bring reviewed by the PPS.
“If the fence hadn’t been there to stop the car I dread to think what would have happened,” the resident said.
“It was Saturday lunchtime. There were children out playing in what is a quiet residential area.
“I’m already suffering with my health and this has left me badly shaken. I was just sitting in the living room and heard the crash.
“I couldn’t believe there was a car in my garden. Had it been travelling any faster it would have come straight through the front of the house.”
Police in Cookstown said it is a miracle nobody was hurt in the crash. Images captured of the aftermath show the wrecked car abandoned on a grass lawn, with significant damage done to the fence.
Two people who were in the vehicle made off from the scene following the incident before police later made arrests on Fountain Road.
The PSNI in Mid Ulster said there were children playing in the area at the time of the crash and that officers were amazed there had been no other injuries.
A police spokesperson wrote beside the image of the incident on Facebook that the driver had “ploughed through Coolnafranky Park and ended up impaling the car on a garden fence”.
“As you would expect on a Saturday afternoon, there were children playing in the area at the time. It’s a miracle this didn’t end differently,” they said.
“The two in the car made off but were both arrested a short distance away on Fountain Road.
“Both are still in the cells this evening with the court file being prepared.
“A big thank you goes to everyone in Coolnafranky for your actions preventing the car continuing after it crashed and for your assistance in locating the two individuals. Today’s operation involved officers from Cookstown Neighbourhood Team, Magherafelt Local Policing Team and Tactical Support Group.”
Elsewhere, Newry, Mourne and Down PSNI dealt with a series of drink-driving incidents in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The first incident happened in Newry, when police arrested a man following some “ropey driving” nearly four times over the drink-drive limit.
“Newry crew has just arrested a male driver after stopping him following some ropey driving,” they wrote on social media.
“The male provided a roadside sample nearly 4 times the drink-drive limit. He will be taken to custody to provide an evidential sample.”
In another incident, police found an abandoned car in the middle of William Street in the city, with the vehicle having been involved in a crash.
PSNI crews searched for the vehicle’s owner who was eventually located and was reportedly twice the legal drink-drive limit.
“Newry crews came across this car abandoned on William Street after the driver crashed it and ran off,” police added.
“The driver of the crashed car was located uninjured.”
Finally, in a separate incident police arrested another individual for drink-driving after a member of the public reported concern over the way a car was being driven.