West Country van driver accidentally rips roof off parking lot

An eyewitness was shocked after seeing a van driver accidentally remove the roof from the driveway of a residential parking lot.

The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, watched the incident unfold in Exeter around 11am on Tuesday February 8.

They said they were inside an address when suddenly they heard an unusually loud noise that can’t even be described, reports Devon Live.

READ MORE: People with covid won’t have to self-isolate weeks from now as restrictions end early

Explaining his disbelief, the resident said: “The van driver was helping a friend or family member move in.

“Suddenly I heard this noise. I can’t even describe it, as soon as I heard it I flew to the window.

“I saw the driver jump out of the van and he was screaming, scaring and blinding.

“The roof tore off the entrance pillars and was over the van.”

He added that while it was an unusual incident, he is surprised it hasn’t happened before.

The incident happened around 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

He said: “Usually this roof sits on pillars, and as he went across he made a bad error of judgment – and at some speed, I can imagine – and took it off .

“I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner because when I went outside to see what had happened I saw that one of the pillars in the ground was soaked through and looked rotten.

“It got me thinking, with all the wind we had, how did this not happen sooner.”

He adds that about 15 minutes after the event, firefighters were on the scene.

He said: “The fire brigade arrived and they were perplexed. The AAs also arrived.

“The van has been moved and stuck, but it is blocking some spaces for other properties. It looks like it will be there for a while now.

“I have spoken to the driver, he says they are trying to reach the owners of the car park to see if they can remove the roof of the van because obviously if they do it will smash into pieces.”

AA and fire crews were called to the incident
AA and fire crews were called to the incident

The resident says the driver told him the van was a rental and he might have to pay a crane to remove the roof.

“The driver informed me that the van was a rental and said the insurance (company) refused to help, the rental company refused to help, the fire brigade said they did not know what do and potentially have to privately pay for a crane, and then AA came along as they went and they were confused as to what to do or how to help.”

A spokesman for the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Services confirmed they were at the scene.

They said: “A team attended the incident from 11:15 a.m. to 12:21 p.m.

“They made sure the vehicle was safe. There was no major damage to the roof.”

Want our top stories with fewer ads and alerts when the biggest news drops? Download our app at iPhone Where android