'At least he hasn't killed anyone' - Publican reacts as 'idiot' driver smashes into pub after car chase
PUBLISHED: 07:20 19 June 2019 | UPDATED: 07:21 19 June 2019
A car crash after a police chase 'could have been a million times worse' - according to a publican who watched an 'idiot' driver smash through his wall.
A black Volkswagen crashed into an outdoor seating area at The Plough in Congresbury's High Street on Saturday after failing to stop when being pursued by police for nine miles.
The male driver, who has since been arrested, was taken to hospital with a female passenger and two children - including a baby who was in the front seat - for precautionary treatment.
Pub manager Garry Polledri told the Mercury it was a lucky escape, as dozens of people could have been sat in the car's path if not for the poor weather.
He said: "I was stood outside. I heard a bang and a car flashed right in front of me.
"We could have had 20 or 30 people out there. It could have been a million times worse if the weather had not been bad.
"The driver is a complete idiot but at least he hasn't killed anyone."
The driver of the car refused to stop for police at Hildesheim Bridge in Weston at around noon, speeding off along the A370 and being pursued by officers.
Nine miles later, he lost control and smashed through a wall at the High Street pub - causing at least £1,000 in damage according to Mr Polledri.
He added: "There was a student sat on the other wall and the car careered straight towards her. She had to dive over the wall out of the way. If she had not seen the car she could have died.
"There was a baby in the front seat of the car. The student dived straight into the front seat and got the baby out."
An Avon and Somerset Constabulary spokesman told the Mercury the incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
The spokesman added: "A driver was arrested after failing to stop for officers. He was driving on the A370 at Hildesheim Bridge when officers requested him to stop.
"He ignored the request and continued travelling along the A370, overtaking vehicles on the wrong side of the road before colliding with a wall at the Plough public house, Congresbury shortly afterwards.
"The driver was detained and he together with a female passenger and two young children were taken to hospital as a precaution.
"A police vehicle was following the car at the time of collision."