AN out-of-control minibus ploughed through a garden wall as terrified passengers clung to their seats.
Householder Billy Bryce today told how he was woken by a huge bang as the bus smashed into his Mercedes car before destroying his front garden wall.
The 54-year-old said: “My wife jumped out of bed and shouted ‘there’s a bus in our garden’.”
Mr Bryce and wife Gillian, 51, had been asleep at 11.20pm on Sunday when the driver of the Compass minibus, with passengers on board, lost control and careered towards their at their home in Greenbank Drive, South Hylton.
The bus slid backwards, down the steep bank, knocking Mr Bryce’s blue Mercedes 30ft down the street, before smashing through the front wall.
Mr Bryce said: “I couldn’t believe it. I rushed outside, and there was a bus in the garden and all the passengers standing around.
“I called the police, and they arrived, along with a couple of ambulances.”
The driver of the bus, on its last journey of the day, was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital for a check-up, but is not believed to have been seriously hurt.
Mr Bryce now faces bills for thousands of pounds’ worth of damage caused by the crash.
He said: “The wall’s been destroyed, and the back of the car was badly damaged. We aren’t able to use the car at the minute, which is going to prove difficult as I have an important hospital appointment this week.”
The bus is understood to have been driving up Greenbank Drive and turning left into Rosemount when it began rolling backwards.
“The car was parked outside the house, and it’s hit that first, before going through the wall,” said Mr Bryce.
“Hopefully, the insurance will cover it all, but it’s pretty inconvenient.
“You really don’t expect to be woken up by your wife telling you there is a bus in the front garden.”
A police spokeswoman confirmed officers had attended the scene and the bus driver had been taken to hospital.
A spokesman for Compass said: “We were made aware of the incident on Sunday night and our transport manager visited the scene the morning after.
“The driver was taken to hospital, but was released after suffering from shock. We are glad that no-one was hurt, but there will be a full investigation into what happened.”