‘A concrete bench saved my life’

Sonia Aitchison with the remains of her goods from her ruined stall.
Sonia Aitchison with the remains of her goods from her ruined stall.

SAVED by a concrete bench, a shocked market trader thought she was going to die when a car ploughed through Alnwick Market Place this afternoon.

Sonia Aitchison was running her Pyrography business at the Alnwick International Music Festival market when a Silver Ford Cougar, which police say was driven by an elderly woman, entered the square and careered into stalls before coming to a stop by her stand.

The car that ploughed through five stalls in Alnwick Market Place came to rest against one of the benches, which Sonia Aiitchison says saved her life.

The car that ploughed through five stalls in Alnwick Market Place came to rest against one of the benches, which Sonia Aiitchison says saved her life.

“I thought it was coming for me, if that concrete bench hadn’t been there I would have been dead,” she said.

“I saw it coming first round the corner and then it came along and just went into the stalls.

“I thought my friend who was on her stall was underneath it but fortunately she was stood at the side otherwise she wouldn’t still be here.”

A lot of Sonia’s goods, which are all hand-made, were damaged in the crash and the remainder was taken Town Hall.

Pat Ramsden, whose Chinese and Tibetan craft stall was next to Sonia’s, said she is also lucky to be alive.

“I was just coming straight for us,” she said.

One eyewitness told the Gazette that the car missed a man carrying a young child on his shoulders by inches.

Leslie Armstrong, of Scented Melts, broke down in tears as she recalled the events. The car, which police say was driven by an elderly woman, smashed into stalls just along from Leslie.

She said: “The car came in and swerved round two gentlemen who were crossing the road. I said to my friend, look at that car and then it just came in to the square.

“Then you just heard the vroom it just came for us.

“I grabbed my friend and held her back just in case. I thought it was going to reverse in to us.

“The noise was horrendous there was just this bang it was just awful.

“You just don’t expect it. It all happened in a flash.”

One eyewitness told the Gazette that the car missed a man carrying a young child on his shoulders by inches.

Five stalls were wiped out by the crash and police are still investigating the incident.