'It could have been a million times worse' - pub manager reacts to car chase crash

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 June 2019

The car was destroyed in the crash Picture: Avon Fire and Rescue Service

The car was destroyed in the crash Picture: Avon Fire and Rescue Service

Archant

A nine-mile police chase which saw a car smash into a Congresbury pub could have ended in disaster, according to its manager.

Around 20-30 diners might have been enjoying a spot of lunch at The Plough on Saturday when a black Volkswagen careered into its outdoor seating area, if not for the poor weather.

The male driver of the car refused to stop for police in Weston at around noon, speeding off along the A370 and being pursued by officers.

Nine miles later - with two children and a female passenger inside - he lost control and smashed through a wall at the High Street pub.

The occupants of the car were taken to hospital as a precaution, and the driver was later arrested.

Pub manager Garry Polledri told the Times he was stood outside when the car careered into the wall, which will cost at least £1,000 to repair.

He said: "I heard a bang and a car flashed right in front of me.

"We were very glad it was overcast and there was a bit of rain in the air because we could have had 20 or 30 people outside. If it was a sunny day I don't know what would have happened.

"There was a student sat on the other wall and the car careered straight towards her. She had to dive over the wall out of the way. If she had not seen the car she could have died.

"There was a baby in the front seat of the car. The student dived straight into the front seat and got the baby out.

"It could have been a million times worse if the weather had not been bad.

"The driver is a complete idiot but at least he has not killed anyone."

An Avon and Somerset Constabulary spokesman told the Times the incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

The spokesman added: "A driver was arrested after failing to stop for officers.

"He was driving on the A370 at Hildesheim Bridge when officers requested him to stop.

"He ignored the request and continued travelling along the A370, overtaking vehicles on the wrong side of the road before colliding with a wall at the Plough public house, Congresbury shortly afterwards.

"The driver was detained and he together with a female passenger and two young children, who were in the car, were taken to hospital as a precaution.

"A police vehicle was following the car at the time of collision."

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