Retired Balcombe firefighter’s warning after car crashes into garden

A retired firefighter from Balcombe who lives in a ‘notorious accident black spot’ is warning drivers after a car crashed into his garden.

Jon Blake, 61, of Brighton Road, Lower Beeding, said he was woken up by his landlord after she heard a strange noise outside.

Jon Blake (inset) and the scene of the crash in Lower Beeding on December 1

Jon Blake (inset) and the scene of the crash in Lower Beeding on December 1

The 61-year-old, who grew up in Balcombe, said he went outside and discovered a ‘smashed up’ car up against a tree in his garden.

He said: “When I went outside I could see some lights and an indicator flashing. I then saw it was a car up against a tree on its side. It had taken out a couple of trees.

“The car was smashed up. We had a double fatality here last year so I thought this was going to be another one.”

Jon, who was a firefighter at Preston Circus Fire Station in Preston Park, Brighton, said he was expecting someone to be seriously injured when he went to look at the car but was relieved to find no one was there after the crash, on December 1.

It really is a warning to people if you drive down this road. It has come to the time that someone needs to look into this.

Jon Blake

He said a police search was then carried out which involved a police helicopter. A 23-year-old man was then arrested, he said.

“He was so lucky to have not died,” said Jon.

“It is a notorious accident black spot here. There have been several accidents and we are lucky not more people have been killed.

“It really is a warning to people if you drive down this road. It has come to the time that someone needs to look into this.

Police said a 23-year-old man from Littlehampton has been arrested and charged following the crash

Police said a 23-year-old man from Littlehampton has been arrested and charged following the crash

“I am amazed that someone has not looked into this already – it has been going on for a while.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Daniel Brown, 23, an insurance broker, of Ernest Fitches Way, Wick, Littlehampton, has been charged with being the driver of a vehicle failing to stop after a road accident and obstructing a constable in the execution of his duty.

“The charges follow an incident on December 1, when a blue Seat Ibiza left the road and crashed into the garden of a house in Brighton Road, Lower Beeding, shortly before 7am.”

The police spokesman added that the driver had left the scene, prompting a search involving a National Police Air Service helicopter amid fears for his safety and welfare following the incident.

West Sussex County Council has been approached for a comment.

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