Couple shocked by damage when they return home from holiday

WALL WRECKED: Mark Johnstone returned from a holiday to discover the front wall of his Seaburn home had been demolished when a car ploughed into it.
WALL WRECKED: Mark Johnstone returned from a holiday to discover the front wall of his Seaburn home had been demolished when a car ploughed into it.
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A COUPLE returned from a holiday to find an out-of-control car had careered into their front wall on a corner plagued by accidents.

Mark Johnstone and wife Michelle came home from Amsterdam to find the wall of their home in Seaburn Terrace had been demolished.

Neighbours told the couple they heard a loud bang as the black car smashed into the wall, causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage, before speeding off.

Dad-of-three Mark is calling for traffic-calming measures at the accident blackspot road, which follows the perimeter of Seaburn Recreation Ground.

“We’ve lived here for three and a half years, and it’s an ongoing issue for the houses here,” he said. “Cars lose control on the corner and skid on to the pavement and into walls.

“This is the worst accident that’s happened while we’ve lived here, but it’s happened to other houses.” The letting agent, who runs Cooper & Co in Sea Road, added: “I’ve written to the council and the police about this, but they say it’s not a problem.

“Will someone have to be injured by one of the cars before something is done about it?

“When you’re lying in bed, you can hear the cars screeching around the corner. Kids use the road as a race track between Roker Retail Park and Morrison’s.

“But it’s not just them – even drivers who aren’t speeding have lost control here.”

The unknown driver crashed into the Johnstones’ wall at around 3am yesterday.

Vince Richardson, who owns the nearby Mayfield Guest House, heard the smash and says he’s amazed no one was hurt.

“The crash woke me up, and when I looked out of the window, the car had smashed into the wall and spun 180 degrees,” he said.

“I’ve been here 20 years, and there’s about one or two accidents a week.

“When there’s been a bit of rain, the road becomes like an oil slick. The cars come round the corner too fast for the conditions.

“There’s one chevron at the bottom of the bank, but it’s not enough to warn people.

“They’re not aware it’s a 90-degree bend until they hit it. There should be a ‘90-degree bend’ sign or a ‘slow’ sign at least.”

Mr Richardson has also written to the council about the problem.

“I received a letter from the road engineering department who said the surface is fine,” he said.

“It may well be when it’s dry, but it’s certainly not when it’s wet,” he said. “This is a busy pedestrian corner, and it shouldn’t have to take someone to be killed for them to do something about it.”

Nobody was available from Sunderland City Council to comment.