Woman from Bracknell narrowly escapes death from out of control car
Published: 16 Feb 2014 17:301 comment
Emma Hollis, from Easthampstead, was walking home from work on Sunday night at about 6.20pm when she heard a loud bang in front of her at a nearby pedestrian underpass that runs underneath Downshire Way in Bracknell.
As she approached the underpass – which provides a thoroughfare for pedestrians to reach Bracknell town centre from Easthampstead – she saw a green BMW estate car had flipped off the road, rolled down the grass bank and come to rest in front of one of the entrances to the underpass.
Following her near miss, Miss Hollis is calling on the council to extend the barriers running alongside Downshire Way to prevent vehicles coming off the road and down the embankment.
Police and paramedics were called to the scene at about 6.25pm, where the male driver was taken to Royal Berkshire Hospital for further treatment. Police say he may have suffered from a “medical episode” before losing control of the vehicle, but this is unconfirmed.
The underpass was cordoned off for a short while on Sunday while police gathered evidence, but it was reopened later in the evening. Council workers also went to the scene earlier this week to clear up remaining debris.
Miss Hollis, 35, regularly uses the underpass as her route home from work as a call handler at the East Berkshire Primary Care out of hours service in the town centre.
She revealed that she would have been walking underneath the underpass at the time of the incident had she not left work late due to a colleague arriving to work late and says she could have been killed.
“I think I am very lucky to be here as had I not left work later than usual then I would have been there,” she said.
“It sounded as if a bomb had
gone off or a house had explo-ded. The ground shook, too.
“I use the underpass all the time and it’s just scary the thought that I could have been there.
“I could’ve been killed to be honest. My colleague who arrived late probably saved my life.”
She added that even though she still uses the underpass during the day, the incident affected her so much that she chooses to travel home by bus whenever it is dark.
Miss Hollis believes that the crash barriers that run alongside Downshire Way to protect the underpass should be extended to prevent a reoccurrence of the incident.
“The chance of it happening again is slim but I have been scared to walk through the underpass since.
“I don’t go in the dark any more,” she added.I’ve started becoming superstitious about going there now.
“I don’t think the barriers are long enough to protect the underpass as well as they could do.
“I think they should be extended so something like this doesn’t happen again.”
In a statement, Bracknell Forest Council said: “The accident site has been assessed but we’re seeking further details from the police to better understand exactly how and why it happened.
“We will take any necessary action once we have all the relevant information.”