By CRAIG McTEAR
ROD Fittler thought there'd been a head-on outside his Beryl Street home, that's how loud the bang was.
And it wouldn't have surprised him, considering the way hoons tear up and down his street.
He awoke with a start at 2.20am yesterday, rushed to his window and saw a ute reverse and then take off down the road.
Rod dashed outside and saw the destruction left behind by an erratic P-plater.
The work vehicle had been heading east on Beryl Street before it ran out of control on a bend near the Ann Street intersection, crossed to the wrong side of the road and mounted the kerb, missing a power pole by centimetres.
The Hilux careered across Rod's neighbour's front lawn where it squashed a water meter before demolishing a brick wall, sending bricks and a mailbox flying through the air.
The impact was so heavy some of the bricks pelted Rod's Colorbond fence and landed in his front yard, some 60 metres away from the accident site.
"Whoever was driving would have had to have hit it with a fair bit of force," Rod said.
"They were lucky. God was with them last night, or somebody was."
The driver managed to steer the badly damaged vehicle round the corner and abandoned it.
"Beryl Street is getting worse. They speed up and down this road," Rod said.
"On Friday and Saturday nights you've got a job to sleep here. Hooligans and idiots come around this corner and take off.
"One bloke in particular makes his tyres squeal.
"Something's got to be done, because someone's going to get killed."
Joyce Noonan was left without water yesterday morning as a result of the crushed meter in her front yard.
The 75-year-old says she's not surprised at what happened.
"They speed up and down here like nothing," Joyce said.
"They've made a mess of my place."
Sharon Hudson, who has lived in Beryl Street with her partner and teenage son for three years, says the driver could have been killed.
"Speeding is a problem along here all the time. Sometimes, we can't drive into our driveway because they're going too fast and we have to go around the block for a second attempt," Sharon said.
Another resident, Troy Herbert, said the street was unsafe.
"Lucky the accident happened at the time it did, because a lot of kids use this street," Troy said.
A Bonville man, 20, will face Coffs Harbour Local Court on February 12 on charges of high-range drink-driving and leaving the scene of an accident without giving particulars.
Sergeant Frank Cook said the man attended Coffs Harbour Police Station at 3.50am yesterday. He was breath-tested and then subjected to a breath analysis, which allegedly returned a reading of .155.
Police allege the man, who was not injured, was speeding at the time of the smash.