Couple ‘shaken’ after car destroys house

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An Oamaru couple in their 60s are lucky to be alive after a car ploughed through their Orwell St house on Saturday night.

Paul and Louise Daley were sitting in their lounge watching television at 8.30pm when a car being driving by a 22-year-old Oamaru man smashed through their front bedroom and into the lounge.

Oamaru Police Sergeant Blair Wilkinson said the driver was arrested and recorded an excess breath alcohol level of 950mcg.

The driver allegedly failed to negotiate the turn from Humber St onto Orwell St and drove through the fence, the exterior wall, a bedroom, an interior wall and “stopped to rest in the lounge narrowly missing the occupants of the house”.

“The contributing factors seem to be his high level of intoxication combined with travelling at speed.”

The crash caused extensive damage to the house and the driver received minor cuts, he said.

Mrs Daley, who was thrown across the room, said she and her husband received minor injuries but were devastated by the incident, which has left them temporarily homeless.

“We’re a bit shaken up.”

They had been staying elsewhere and because of the structural damage, thought they may not be able to live in their home again, she said.

“I’m just so grateful that nobody was killed.”

Just 15 minutes before the incident occurred, their 16-year-old grandson had been watching television in the bedroom, which was destroyed.

The couple had numerous possessions destroyed, including a cup Mrs Daley gave her mother, who has since passed away.

“I just want the young people in this town to understand that drink driving is a no-no.

“I just hope that he learns from this and so do others in this town.

“They need to stop taking life for granted.”

The man has been charged with driving with an excess breath alcohol level and more charges are likely to follow.

By RUBY HARFIELD

PHOTO: RUBY HARFIELD

HOUSE DESTROYED: Louise Daley stands in the rubble caused by a drink-driver who crashed through her house on Saturday night.