'Carnage' after lights-out as cars plough into homes (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Front gates and wall of Alderton Mews in Loughton have been hit three times in two weeks
Three cars have ploughed through garden walls this month, with two crashes blamed on street lights being switched off at night.
People living in Alderton Mews in Loughton say there have been few accidents in the last 15 years, but have now been left shaken by three crashes within days.
John Cassidy, 68, said while the first accident on January was due to drink-driving, he believes the others were the result of drivers having limited visibility on the tricky stretch of road since lights were switched of between midnight and 5am to save money.
“It is ludicrous,” he said.
“The first one was an example of how bad the road can be, but the second two were after the lights were turned out.
“I can understand the council wanting to save on energy bills, but we are a forest area. It’s different in towns, where more buildings and shops exist.
“It is pitch black up there. I suggest they leave the lights on till about 3am when there is hardly any traffic and put reflective bend signs from both directions.
“These past two weeks have been carnage like never before.”
The first incident saw a 49-year-old cut free from her car and later arrested on suspicion of drink- driving.
However, on both Saturday and Saturday after midnight, drivers hit the front walls of houses, smashing them down and sending a lamppost crashing to the ground.
Leanne Waldman, 35, is concerned about the safety of her children.
She said: “The first time I heard a massive bang but I thought it was thunder. My neighbour came and knocked on my door. There were police and fire and ambulance crews outside.
“I am really worried about being outside with my children at the moment.”
No-one was seriously injured as a result of the crashes, while one motorist drove away from the scene after hitting the wall.
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