Crash barrier calls at accident blackspot

Hailsham crash in ersham road
Hailsham crash in ersham road

A crash which saw a teenage driver veer off a busy road and land in a garden pond has led to renewed calls for a safety barrier on Ersham Road.

Four teenagers escaped unhurt after the Corsa they were travelling in careered off the old Hailsham road, through a newly erected fence and into Stella Lemmon’s fish pond.

It is the second accident in a year and Mrs Lemmon’s son Rick and grandson Sam had only just finishing replacing the fencing after the December crash when a Saab driver lost control on the bend outside the property.

“It’s a miracle the passengers got out alive. I was terrified for them,” said Mrs Lemmon, who was at home at 9.30pm on Sunday when she heard a massive bang. She rushed outside to find the car sinking in her garden pond.

“We had just come in from the garden where we had been having a barbecue when we heard the squeal of brakes and a loud bang.

“I looked out and saw a car sinking into the pond which is so big it is more like a lake.”

Mrs Lemmon immediately dialled 999 but as she did so two boys – believed to be in their late teens – started smashing their way out the vehicle.

They told her there were two others still inside.

“I was terrified at first but when the boys got out I was relieved.

“They managed to smash through the car’s windows and clamber up the bank. But they were all soaking wet and frightened.”

The boys used Mrs Lemmon’s mobile phone to call their parents.

Mrs Lemmon and her family are now urging East Sussex County Council’s highways department to install a safety barrier at the notorious bend.

“This is the ninth time a vehicle has smashed through the fence over the past 20 years,” said Mrs Lemmon. “We need a crash barrier here and soon before someone is killed.

“We have asked the council for one but it is becoming a real accident black spot.”

A Sussex Police spokesman said, “We were called at 9.30pm to reports a car had crashed through a fence. Breath tests were taken which were negative. No one was arrested. It’s obviously a very lucky escape.”

A spokeswoman for East Sussex County Council, which maintains the road outside Mrs Lemmon’s home, said: “We are working closely with the police to understand the underlying reasons why the accident happened and will review all aspects of the accident in light of this evidence.”