Family escape after lorry crashes into their
by MARY MAGEE
LISBURN man has described a lorry careering into his brand new
house as he, his wife and young child slept in the early hours
of Tuesday morning as the 'scariest moment' of his life.
Paul Gilliland, his wife Leanne and daughter
Carly were asleep in their home at Beechfield Mews when a lorry
crashed into the gable wall at around 4am.
Paul (30) awoke to find smoke all around and
the smell of gas and thought there had been an explosion of some
They found the area around the front door was
demolished and extensive damage had been caused to the stairs
and part of the front living room. The damage narrowly missed
their child's bedroom.
"We were in our beds when we heard what sound
like an explosion," said Paul. "I thought the roof had fallen
down and there had been a gas leak or a bomb had gone off.
"My wife was screaming and our only concern
was to get to Carly who was in the other bedroom." He said that
when he got downstairs he saw the lorry and had to climb over
rubble and get his family out as he feared the house was going
to fall down.
thought the whole house was going to collapse at any stage," he
Paul returned upstairs to get clothes for his
family but was unable to return a second time even to get his
wallet because of the danger.
"We literally had nothing but the clothes on
our back until it was safe to return," he said
insurance company came to prop up the house up and the couple
are now in negotiations to get a rented house while surveyors
assess the full extent of the damage.
"I am just worried how safe the house will be
if we return" said Paul. "Will it happen again?
"We have been left shocked but are otherwise
okay. It was the most frightening experience of my life. I know
it was an accident but it was frightening.
"Its typical that we live in a row of houses
and ours was the only one occupied and that's the one that gets
Paul said their immediate future in the house
which they only moved into on October 31 is uncertain.
"We have been told that we will be out of the
house at least for six months," he said. "It could even be
demolished if it is deemed unsafe."
The lorry driver was taken to hospital and
the cause of the crash has yet to be determined.