A STUNNED pensioner told of his horror after a stolen car ploughed into his home and hit a gas main.
Bill Dugan, 84, was asleep upstairs when the vehicle went through the garden wall of the property in Newcastle Road, Monkwearmouth, before smashing into the semi-detached home.
The front of Mr Dugan’s home has now been partially demolished, with his living room left showered with bricks and debris.
No one was injured.
Mr Dugan said: “I heard a very loud noise like an explosion and then I heard voices shouting ‘are you all right?’.
“I looked out of the window and saw a car in the middle of my front lawn and my neighbours who’d just come home from night shift.
“They said they could smell gas and that I needed to get out of the house quickly.”
Mr Dugan and his neighbour, 90-year-old Anne Dougherty, were evacuated along with others in the street with worries that there could be a gas explosion due to the main being hit.
Mr Dugan added: “It’s a real mess. I can’t stay in my own home now because I have no gas and no heating.”
Married couple Rhoda and Michael Percy, who have been next-door neighbours since 1967, said they were awoken by members of the emergency services worried that there could be an explosion due to the gas main being hit by the car.
Mrs Percy, 68, said: “We got a knock at the door in the early hours and were told there had been an accident.
“They then suggested that we leave the house because they could smell the gas.
“We were going to wait in the bus shelter outside but ended up sitting in a police car because it was warmer.”
Mr Percy, 69, added: “Someone knocked down our pillar outside our house a few years ago, so it’s not as if things like this haven’t happened before.
Nurse Pauline Roffe, who lives just doors away from the affected property, said: “When I looked out of my window and saw it I just thought ‘oh my God’.”
The 48-year-old, who lives with husband Tony, 50, and son Jimmy, 20, added: “It’s a busy road but it quietens down at about 11pm so I’m surprised I didn’t hear anything.
The smash happened at about 2.20am on Tuesday.
*Neil Bater, 40, of Penrith Road, Fulwell, has been charged with aggravated vehicle taking and was due to appear before Sunderland Magistrates’ Court later today.