Lucky escape after brick is thrown at van in Sunderland

David Potts, who works for Woofs n Scruffs, near Seaham, was in his work's van when a brick was thrown at the windscreen.
David Potts, who works for Woofs n Scruffs, near Seaham, was in his work's van when a brick was thrown at the windscreen.
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A driver and passenger had a lucky escape when a whole brick was hurled at their van window.

Mark Brown and his friend, David Potts, were travelling north along the A19 - turning off on the sliproad towards Pennywell - when the missile hit the windscreen.

Smashed van window which was hit by a brick.

Smashed van window which was hit by a brick.

Thankfully, although the glass shattered, it didn’t fall in on the pair and Mark was able to keep control of the van and didn’t swerve into another vehicle.

The 33-year-old businessman, who runs Woofs ‘n’ Scruffs dog care business at Cold Hesledon, near Seaham, said he and David were left shaken, but both they, and the dogs in the van, were uninjured.

He said the consequences of the brick being thrown at a vehicle could have been much worse.

Mark, who lives in Sunderland, said: “The brick just came hurtling towards the van through the trees. It is disgusting that people can do this.

“It is disgusting that people can do this”

Mark Brown

“We are just so grateful that it was us, not elderly people or a car full of children. Someone could have been killed.”

Mark said the company van is nearly new, which he believes is why the windscreen withstood the impart of the brick.

The incident did affect his business as the van had to be off the road to be repaired.

The incident happened on Monday, May 1, at about 4.30pm and Northumbria Police say they are investigating several similar incidents that happened in Sunderland the same day.

Officers said they were informed of three cars being damaged after stones were thrown from a bridge across Tunstall Hope Road and vehicles were swerving to avoid the stones.

Enquiries are on-going to identify the youths involved and witnesses with information are urged to come forward.

Neighbourhood Inspector, Tony Carty, said: “Throwing objects onto busy roads is reckless and incredibly dangerous.

“The objects do not need to hit a vehicle to cause damage, vehicles are swerving to avoid being hit by the falling stones which could cause a serious collision. Not only that the very shock of an item hitting the carriageway could cause a motorist to lose control of their vehicle.

“Youths may think it is a bit of fun, but they need to be aware of the danger they are causing, we are carrying out enquiries to trace those responsible and we will take action against them. If it’s found their actions were directly responsible for causing a collision there will be serious consequences.

“If anyone has any information that can help in our enquiries then we would encourage them to come forward and pass this on to us.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird DBE QC, said: “This behaviour is completely mindless and has the potential to cause serious harm. Those responsible need to be made aware of the consequences, which are very serious.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting reference 778 010517 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.