Elderly couple still stranded two months after car crashed into their home

John Irving outside his Sharow home
John Irving outside his Sharow home

An elderly couple have been left homeless for two months after a car smashed into their Sharow home in December.

John and Joyce Irvin, 86 and 81, miraculously escaped injury when a car drove into the side of their Glebe Meadow home on December 30.

The car outside John Irving's Sharow home

The car outside John Irving's Sharow home

However, the couple are still ‘stranded’ at the Ripon Spa Hotel eight weeks after the crash with no imminent date to return home.

The couple have been told it will take at least one month for builders to carry out necessary repairs but, currently, there is no start date for the work to take place.

This is because, much to the couple’s dismay, the green Volvo V40 has still not been removed from the side of their home.

Mr Irvin said it was ‘unbelievable’ that he and his wife were still stuck in a hotel and blamed his home insurance company, Saga, for the slow progress being made.

The car outside John Irving's Sharow home

The car outside John Irving's Sharow home

He said: “I’ve been told that while the car remains in the side of the wall, the builders can’t build.

“The insurance company have told me they could not tell us how long we will be out the house for as it still needs a survey from a structural engineer.

“We’ve been chasing the situation with the insurance and police for weeks but there’s very little we can do at this time. The police have told us they can’t do any more.

“It’s now down to our insurance to get their act together and get the car moved out our house but it’s still anyone’s guess when we can move back in.”

The car outside John Irving's Sharow home

The car outside John Irving's Sharow home

Mr Irvin complained that the process of removing the car from their home has been delayed and hindered on numerous occasions.

He was told surveyors were away on their Christmas holidays when the accident first happened and, when they got back, they were tied up with the floods.

Jacks have been installed in the house and the ceiling has been strengthened to ensure that, once the car is removed, nothing will collapse.

This is the only work to have taken place so far at the couple’s house and Mr Irvin and his wife have no idea when they will be able to return to their regular life.

Mr Irvin said: “ I can’t get in the house, everything is dead. It’s unbelievable and a lot of people think the same when we tell them.

“It could be months before we get back in our house and back to our normal life. We were the victims here and we still feel like we’re the victims.

“It’s been incredibly stressful trying to get things sorted because it’s just not the same being in your own house. We’re finding it upsetting and distressing even to look at the pictures.”

However, Saga have stated work is being held up on repairing Mr Irvin’s home as they are waiting for the third party’s car insurer to remove the vehicle.

A spokesperson for Saga said: “Due to the unusual nature of this specific incident we have had to arrange for a number of contractors to assess the damage and advise on the safest way to remove the car from Mr Irvin’s property so that the house doesn’t collapse.

“In the meantime, we are paying for Mr Irvin to stay in a nearby hotel. We are updating Mr Irvin regularly and he has told us that he is happy.”

Mr Irving and his wife were sitting in their living room watching television when the car skidded on the road outside, before hitting the curb and crashing into their house.

At first, Mr Irving believed that a helicopter had crashed and exploded and said he and his wife were ‘incredibly lucky’ to escape without any injuries.

Following a police investigation, the 27-year-old man driving the Volvo escaped a fine but was instructed to attend a Driver Alertness Course.

“The whole incident was terrifying and it’s still a horrendous ordeal because we haven’t been able to get on with our lives,” Mr Irving said.