WHEN a stolen car crashed through her garden fence and careered through her bay window, pensioner Barbara Lister thought it was just thunder.
The 83-year-old and her son Kevin were at home when the Audi smashed into her home in Old Farm Close, West Park, Leeds, in the early hours.
Mrs Lister – who has lived there 45 years – and her son discovered a scene of destruction. The bay window wall was demolished and furniture thrown across the room when the car struck at 3.45am.
Mrs Lister, a retired school cleaner and mother of four sons, said: “I heard this loud bang. My son shouted ‘What’s that” and I thought it was thunder. Then I saw the car. Downstairs I saw what it had done to the front of the house.”
The Audi had lost control and hurtled across grass in front of the semi, crashed through a concrete post and wooden fence and slammed into the wall.
The driver had fled.
A police spokesman said that shortly after 3.30am a patrol car crew became suspicious about an Audi and a Renault Clio driving in convoy on Spen Lane, but the two cars accelerated away in different directions as the patrol car turned to follow. There was no pursuit by police of either car and they were lost from sight.
Later the crew were alerted to the crash in Old Farm Close where they found the Audi car embedded in the house.
Police arrested a 20-year-old man from Bramley, Leeds, in connection with the incident.
The Audi and Clio were later reported to have stolen along with other goods in a burglary at a home in Adel, Leeds.
The Clio was also recovered by police who are seeking the driver.
Structural engineers checked the house and a builder was called to secure the open side of the property.
Car parts littered the grass and fencing debris perched precariously on the house roof.
Graham Lister, another son of Mrs Lister who spent the night with relatives, said: “Our mother has been left very shaken up, but she is very strong and was determined to return this morning to try and clear-up. She insisted ‘I want to go to my home.”
“It might have been a different story if it had happened any earlier, she only went to bed at 12.30am. The police reckoned the car must have been going very fast.