A TEEENAGE driver had a "miracle escape" after he crashed into the side of an elderly couple's home in County Durham.
John and Pam Robinson had to be evacuated from their home on Gipsy Lane in Ferryhill Station when a grey SEAT Ibiza collided with the attached garage at 5.30pm on Saturday, January 5.
Luckily, the couple, who have lived in the property for 25 years, were in the living room at the time and escaped uninjured.
The driver, a male in his late teens from the Ferryhill area, also escaped, suffering only minor cuts and bruises.
District manager Rob Turnbull, of County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue, said it was “miraculous” he had not been seriously hurt.
Mr Robinson said the noise of the crash had been tremendous.
“My first thought was that an aeroplane had hit the house – it was so loud,” said the 71-year-old builder. “We are just so pleased the lad was okay.”
Police and firefighters attended the incident and the road was cordoned off for two hours.
The impact of the crash also triggered a gas leak and a gas engineer was called out to isolate and a repair the damaged pipe.
Mr and Mrs Robinson were allowed to return home later that night following an assessment by a structural engineer.
However, the damage to the property is likely to cost thousands of pounds and will delay their plans to sell up and move to a more manageable bungalow.
As well as the large hole in the side of garage, cracks have appeared on the inside and outside walls of both the garage and guest bedroom, which is located directly above.
Mr and Mrs Robinson’s car, a Nissan Micra that was parked inside the garage, was also damaged and a washing machine and tumble dryer were destroyed.
“John built the extension himself and we only finished it last year,” said Mrs Robinson, 68.
“I just can’t believe this has happened. The gas has been turned off so we haven’t got any central heating and there is water leaking into the garage.
“It’s the last thing you want to happen at the start of a new year.”
An investigation into the cause of the accident is now underway and anyone with information is asked to contact Durham Police on 101.