SHOCKED visitors to Sunderland’s seafront told today how a runaway bus smashed through a fence and into a park.
The single decker Stagecoach vehicle, which had passengers on board, careered off course and hit a lamppost before ploughing into Seaburn Recreation Park.
The driver received treatment for minor injuries after being sprayed by debris from the smashed windscreen, but none of the six passengers on board were harmed.
Investigations were underway today into the cause of the smash which happened at 9.15am on Saturday at Sea Lane.
A fence post is thought to have speared the cab, narrowly missing the driver.
One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “We’ve heard that the driver’s brakes failed when he was coming round the corner and rather than crash into houses he swerved into the rec.”
Sea Lane resident Stan Hughes said: “If it’s true that his brakes failed then the driver’s a very brave man, I wouldn’t have wanted to be confronted with that situation.
“I didn’t see the crash but I heard it, as did everyone else in the street, it sounded like the house was going to cave in.
“There was a little boy and his grandfather next to the scene and the little boy was hysterical. It’s so fortunate that no one was hurt, it could have been a lot worse.”
The bus had been making its way off the roundabout at the bottom of Sea Road when the incident happened.
Yvonne Hunter from Lemonfield B&B on Sea Lane said: “Usually, on a Saturday morning there are lots of kids playing on the grass but fortunately it was unusually quiet that day.”
The bus first hit a silver Mercedes car parked on the road before smashing through the fence and travelled half way across the field before coming to a rest at the other end of the rec.
The road was closed for around three hours while the bus was removed.
A Stagecoach spokesman said: “A bus operating the E6 service that runs between South Shields and Sunderland was involved in an incident around 9.15am on Saturday in Seaburn Terrace.
“Six passengers were on board the bus at the time, none of whom was injured. The driver of the bus received minor injuries in the incident.”
•Were you on the E6 when it crashed. Contact the newsdesk on 0191 501 7326.