A father who could have been killed along with his family when a car ploughed into his dining room has described the decision not to prosecute a van driver involved in the crash as ‘ridiculous’.

The man in his 20s was questioned by police on suspicion of careless driving after his van struck a Volvo which then demolished the wall of a house on the corner of Kinninvie crossroads near Barnard Castle.

Video footage captured on a private CCTV camera shows him crossing the give-way junction as the car driven by a woman made its way along the B6279.

Seconds later the Volvo was embedded in Christian Dean’s dining room where the family had recently finished eating lunch.

The Northern Echo: The Volvo hit the building after it was struck by the van The Volvo hit the building after it was struck by the van (Image: Sarah Caldecott)

The Northern Echo: The damage was extensive The damage was extensive (Image: Contributor)

Read more: Calls for safety measures after crash at Kinninvie near Barnard Castle

Now police have said the van driver will not be prosecuted or have points added to his licence and will instead have to complete a driving safety course.

News he will not face action before the court has been met with disbelief.

Mr Dean said: “Given the seriousness of the crash, I don’t think that is appropriate at all.

“This was a serious crash in which people could have died.

“They are giving him a slap on the wrist by sending him on a hazard awareness course.

“He should have the book thrown at him.”

The incident happened shortly after 1.30pm on February 8 and Mr Dean, who lives there with Jen, 52, and their 30-year-old daughter Jessica, said they have been deeply disturbed by what happened.

It has been especially painful for the couple who lost their 21-year-old son, Jamie after he was fatally injured as a passenger in car crash in 2016.

The Northern Echo: Christian Dean Christian Dean (Image: Sarah Caldecott)

Read more: Car ploughs into house after horrific crash at notorious County Durham crossroads

He said: “We are still dealing with the aftermath of what happened and the shock that we could have been killed.

“There are things that we have lost in that crash that cannot be replaced.

“I don’t think this course is appropriate at all.

“We could have all lost out lives. I think it is ridiculous. I thought it was being taken seriously.”

Temporary four-way traffic lights have been installed since the incident so repair work can be carried out.

The Northern Echo: Temporary four-way traffic lights are now in placeTemporary four-way traffic lights are now in place (Image: Sarah Caldecott)

Mr Dean has also met with Durham Constabulary, Durham County Council and Raby Estates which own the house to discuss lasting safety measures at the junction.

The couple have been having problems sleeping since the crash and Mr Dean said they will move out unless significant changes are made.

He said: “We don’t feel safe in the house.

“If they are not going to do anything I know for a fact that the missus will not want to stay here.

“They don’t know what he measures are going to be but it has to be something long term to ensure this type of thing can never happen again.”

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Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison, who is backing calls for improved safety at the crossroads, said tougher measures were needed to deter careless driving.

She said: “Whilst I’m grateful to the police for acting so quickly, I’m surprised at the limited action taken against the driver given the level of destruction caused to the house - and the fact that, had the incident happened minutes earlier, there could well have been fatalities.

“Having long raised my concerns about the junction, I would have hoped for a stronger punishment to act as a real deterrent for anyone committing reckless driving there.

“I will continue to press for improvements to the junction to prevent any further incidents like this.”

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No-one was injured in the crash and no action is being taken against the Volvo driver.

After the incident the force said the matter had been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service which would determine whether the van driver should attend court.

It is now understood that was not the case and the decision to deal with the matter with an out of court disposal order was made by police.

A spokesperson for Durham Constabulary said: “The van driver, a man in his 20s was interviewed at the roadside for careless driving and reported for the offence.

“He has since received an out of court disposal order to complete a drivers’ awareness course.

“As always, anyone found to be breaking the law will be dealt with accordingly and we would encourage those who witness such incidents to report them.”

The Northern Echo: Kinninvie crossroads, near Barnard CastleKinninvie crossroads, near Barnard Castle (Image: Sarah Caldecott)