Mother tells of Billingshurst crash ‘terror’

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A Billingshurst mother of two has told of the moment a car crashed into the porch of her home in The Haven on Thursday (September 19).

The vehicle went through an eight-foot thick hedge in front of the house and clipped her porch at around 5.30pm.

The Gilmours and family

The Gilmours and family

She said that emergency services at the scene told her the hedge had saved the young driver’s life.

Katie Gilmour, 38, a freelance journalist, of The Haven, near Billingshurst, said that even though she believed the car did not crash at speed, the incident has reignited for her the issue of enforcement in the road.

She said ‘nothing is done’ to stop motorists who go past her house at ‘ridiculous speeds’.

The mother said: “The road is a 40mph, but cars and motorbikes go through at 70mph and nothing is done to enforce the speed limit. We get a lot of speeding motorbikes going at ridiculous speeds.”

The journalist said she had written to the parish council asking it to act before there is a fatality.

Katie and Matt Gilmour have two young children, Maddie, who celebrated her second birthday two days after the accident, and Sophie, who is six-weeks-old.

The family have lost three cats to speeding cars since moving into their home two years ago, claims Katie.

“As a mother of two young children, this terrifies me and we’ve paid a fortune on gates to try to keep our children as safe as we possibly can,” said the mother.

Matt, who was picking up his in-laws who had come for Maddie’s second birthday, reacted to the news with a sense of humour.

“I called him up and he said ‘oh, that’s sub-optimal’,” said Katie. She added: “It was quite funny my step father arrived with my mum and the first thing he did was make everyone a cup of tea which was typically British.”

A number of the properties on The Haven - often used as a cut-through between the A281 and A29 - are older buildings with no pavements between the road and homes.