Blind Sussex grandmother discovers car crash in her lounge: 'I was in shock'

A blind grandmother from a town in Sussex said she feels lucky to be alive after a car crashed into her living room yesterday morning.

Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 2:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:49 pm
Joan Blackwood, 62, from Surrey Street, Littlehampton, next to where the car crashed into her living room

Joan Blackwood, 62, was in bed when the vehicle hit the external wall of her flat in Floyd's Corner, Surrey Street, Littlehampton, at around 7.30am, creating a 4ft by 2ft hole.

It broke through into her lounge, destroying her CD collection and bureau and shunting the armchair where she would normally sit across the room.

She said: "I just thank my lucky stars that I am still here. If it had been later on in the day, I dread to think what could have happened."

Joan Blackwood, 62, from Surrey Street, Littlehampton, next to where the car crashed into her living room

The grandmother, who lost her sight in 1993 and only has 10 per cent vision, said the first she knew that something was wrong was when a 'foreign gentleman' rang her door at around 7.45am to try to explain what had happened.

She said: "I thought he was trying to tell me there was going to be a big bang. I thought, 'okay, when is it?', said thanks for letting me know, and went back to bed."

Half an hour later, the doorbell rang again - but this time it was the police, who led her into her living room.

She said: "At first, I thought: 'what am I walking on?' It was all the rubble."

Michael Blackwood, 39, next to the hole made by the car crash

They explained what happened to a bemused Joan, who has lived in her flat for 17 years. She said: "I was awake the whole time; I had the radio on in the morning. I didn't hear a thing.

"The next thing I know, I was in shock. I was shaking by the time the police left."

She called her son Michael Blackwood, 39, who came round straight away. He said the car was towed away at around 9.30am.

Soon after, they contacted The Hyde Group, who own the building, to close off the hole. But by 7.30pm last night, he said the surveyors still had not arrived to block off the gap.

He said: "There is a big gaping hole facing the main road, so anyone could sneak in there during the night."

Today, Joan confirmed that the housing association had boarded up the wall, inside and out, at 8pm last night and a surveyor would be visiting today to assess the building.

Joan was a lollipop lady at Flora McDonald Junior School and Wickbourne Infant School - now White Meadows Primary Academy in Whitelea Road, Wick - for six years.