A PENSIONER returned from a shopping trip to find a 56-seat coach full of schoolchildren in her front garden.
The garden wall of Isabel McAneny’s home in Tasman Road, Thorney Close, was demolished when the driver lost control as he was reversing into the street from Tilbury Road on Monday.
“If it had been any other day, I would have been sat there,” said 67-year-old Isabel.
She initially thought the coach was just parked outside the house.
“I came down the road and saw all the cars and the bus blocking the road,” she said. “I thought ‘I’ll not be able to get parked’.”
It was a neighbour who told her what had happened.
Workmen from Gentoo who came out to clear the damage told Isabel it could have been far more serious if not for an access ramp and railings outside the house.
“They said if they had not been there, then he could have been through the front door,” she said.
Fifty-five-year-old Bill Morrison, who saw the smash from his home in Tilbury Road, said: “He was reversing around the corner and it just shot backwards and ploughed through the garden wall.”
Isabel’s next-door neighbour, who did not wish to be named, also lost her garden wall.
“It was quite horrific,” she said. “I came round the corner, and the bus was still there. I thought they were just letting the children off. I could see one of the school helpers, standing there on the phone.”
The impact had shunted the wall along several feet. The neighbour said: “The gate used to be three-plus feet wide, but there was only about an inch between the posts.”
The coach was carrying Year Five children from nearby Hasting Hill academy on a trip to the Angel of the North.
Associate head Louise Saunders said all the children had been wearing seatbelts and no one had been hurt.
“Pupils were taken off the bus by members of staff who checked they were OK and escorted back to school,” she said. “Their parents were informed by text message.”
A police spokeswoman confirmed no one had been hurt and said there would be no action against the 56-year-old driver.