Lucky to get out of this one alive
By CRAIG McTEAR
AS his house shook violently and the lights flickered, Garry Bursle wondered what the hell was going on.
Garry, who had a triple heart bypass in November, stumbled outside his Beryl Street home at 2am yesterday and immediately stepped in broken glass.
He saw a white Holden Commodore sedan firmly wedged in the front of his house, only a metre from where his pregnant partner, Rachel Hughes, and their 16-month-old, Georgia, had been sleeping.
Their other children, Ayeisha, 13, and Jamaica, 10, were also in the house at the time.
"I yelled out to see if the driver was all right. When there was no response, I thought he must be dead," Garry said.
"I went inside to get the glass out of my foot but when I came back out, nobody was there.
"The neighbours were fantastic. They gave us a lot of support and kept us calm. I was full of anxiety."
Garry said the room which took the brunt of the impact was being cleaned up for the arrival of his mother.
"If Mum was in there, she would be dead," he said.
The car was heading east in wet conditions on Beryl Street when the driver lost control, mounted the gutter, took out the frontyard fence, hedge and water meter, struck a pole, narrowly missed Garry's mini-van, and slammed into the house.
Someone, presumably the driver, was seen walking away from the scene.
The yard and front part of the home were a complete mess yesterday.
The only remnant of the offending vehicle, which was towed from the scene, was a bumper bar and a P-plate.
The smash was the third in the neighbourhood a notorious drag strip in as many months.
Garry and his family are soon relocating to Armidale, and they reckon the move can't come soon enough.
"We'd get out immediately if we had somewhere to go. We don't want to be here anymore," Rachel said.
Garry said they had been waiting for something like this to happen.
"Our baby is regularly woken up by the sounds of cars racing up and down here," he said.
"If the cops wanted to make some money, they could sit here on Friday and Saturday nights and catch them."
Garry's neighbour, Jacqui Williams, reckons very few drivers in the street stick to the 50km/h speed limit.
"My concern is the rate that they are going. I was never against P-platers but maybe we should make people wait until they're 28 or something before they get their licence," she said.
"It's quite scary to think you live here and this goes on all the time. We deserve to feel safe. Where should we put our children to sleep safely at night?"