A van collided with a house on Overton Mains in Kirkaldy, Fife, on Tuesday, prompting the evacuation of several houses and the closure of Spey Avenue. Police Scotland said the incident happened around 4.30pm and no one was injured. The driver of the van, a 34-year-old man, was arrested and charged with various offences, including careless driving and driving without insurance. He is due to appear at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Wednesday.
How did the residents react?
The residents of the house that was hit by the van were not at home at the time of the crash, but returned shortly after to find their property damaged. They said they were shocked and upset by the incident, but grateful that no one was hurt. They also thanked their neighbours and the emergency services for their support and assistance.
One of the neighbours, who did not wish to be named, said he heard a loud bang and saw the van embedded in the wall of the house. He said he ran over to help and saw the driver trying to get out of the van. He said he called the police and helped the driver out of the vehicle. He said the driver seemed to be in shock and did not say much.
Another neighbour, who also asked to remain anonymous, said she was evacuated from her house as a precaution and had to wait outside for about an hour. She said she was worried about the safety of the gas and electricity supplies in the area and the structural integrity of the house that was hit. She said she hoped the residents of the house would be able to return to their home soon.
What are the authorities doing?
Police Scotland said they were investigating the circumstances of the crash and appealed for any witnesses or anyone with dashcam footage to contact them. They also thanked the public for their patience and cooperation while they dealt with the incident.
Fife Council said they sent a building standards officer to the scene to assess the damage and ensure the safety of the house and the surrounding properties. They said they were working with the residents of the house and their insurance company to arrange alternative accommodation and repairs.
Scottish Gas Networks said they isolated the gas supply to the house as a precaution and carried out safety checks in the area. They said they restored the gas supply to the other properties once they were given the all-clear by the police and the council.
Scottish Power said they also isolated the electricity supply to the house and checked the cables and wires in the area. They said they reconnected the electricity to the other properties as soon as possible.
How common are such incidents?
According to the latest statistics from Transport Scotland, there were 5,665 reported road accidents involving injury in Scotland in 2022, resulting in 7,594 casualties, of which 146 were fatal and 1,594 were serious. The most common causes of road accidents were driver error or reaction, loss of control, and failure to look properly.
There have been several incidents of vehicles crashing into buildings in Scotland in recent years, some of which caused injuries and fatalities. For example, in October 2023, a bus crashed into a block of flats in Dundee, injuring two people and forcing the evacuation of the residents. In July 2023, a car crashed through the wall of a house in Glenrothes, Fife, seriously injuring a man and a woman who were inside the house. In June 2023, a car ploughed into a shop in Edinburgh, killing a pedestrian and injuring 10 others.