Pensioner left 'traumatised' after van ploughs through kitchen window

A 73-year-old woman has escaped serious injury after a van ploughed through the wall of her home.

Annie Burrell was knocked from her chair when the Citroen Berlingo smashed into her kitchen just after 9pm on Sunday.

She said: "I was sitting in the chair and all of a sudden my back window came in. There was a loud bang, maybe with the window breaking and I was knocked out of my chair onto the floor."

The crash happened at Clare Road, Waringstown, shortly after 9pm on Sunday.

Ms Burrell, who had been watching television at the time, was treated for shock and minor injuries to her head and arm caused by flying glass.

"The water was running all over the floor. The person must have left the scene. I was concerned about whoever was in the van and whether they were badly hurt," she told the BBC.

It is understood Ms Burrell managed to raise the alarm by crawling to a telephone and alerting family members who live nearby.

Annie Burrell was knocked from her chair when a van ploughed through the kitchen wall of her home (Liam McBurney/PA)

Structural engineers are now expected to assess whether the property is fit for habitation.

A close family relative, who was at the house on Monday, described the incident as a "very traumatic event".

"She was treated for cuts and bruises but it could have been a lot worse," added the woman, who declined to be named.

Democratic Unionist MLA Carla Lockhart described the incident as shocking.

The driver of the van made off but was located by police officers a short time later (Liam McBurney/PA)

She said: "I know this lady well and to see the pictures of the incident does bring home how shocking it was.

"It is fortunate this morning that we are not dealing with a fatality and although shaken up with some cuts the resident was not seriously injured.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the lady and know that with her family support she will get through this ordeal."

The driver of the van made off but was located by police officers a short time later.

Very distressing for the lady concerned who is understandably in shock. Well done to the PSNI on the quick apprehension of the driver.

-- Carla Lockhart (@carlalockhart) January 29, 2018

A 27-year-old man has been arrested and remains in police custody.

Any witnesses are asked to contact the PSNI.

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