Van crash causes £25k damage at garage

A MOTORIST caused £25,000 of damage and wrote off four cars when his van veered off the road and crashed into a garage forecourt.

The white Volkswagen van was travelling north up the A21 just before 11.45pm on Monday March 7 when it came off the road and careered into vehicles parked outside Whatlington Garage.

The van struck six cars, causing an estimated £20,000 of damage, demolished fencing, flag poles, lighting, signage and a row of 20 conifer trees.

Garage owner Nicholas Coombes was woken by a phone call from a member of staff and rushed to the scene from his home near Rye.

Mr Coombes said: “One of my workers was driving home and saw them (the police) here, rang me, and I came out.

“By then they had moved a lot of it.

“Luckily no one was badly hurt.”

On top of the damage, the garage had to pay an additional £1,000 to have the wrecked vehicles removed.

The driver of the van was taken to the Conquest Hospital with a wrist injury.

The four passengers travelling in the van - two in the front and two in the back - were not hurt.

The driver was arrested.

WPC Jayne Cleverley, of Battle Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This collision caused a considerable amount of damage and I am thankful that nobody was seriously hurt.

“The driver of the van has been charged with failing to take a breath test and will be appearing before Hastings Magistrates Courts.”

The driver, a 34-year-old man from Ilford in Essex, was also charged with having no MOT and using a vehicle where the number of passengers is likely to cause danger under Section 40A of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

The man has been bailed to appear before magistrates on March 21.