Woman dies after truck crashes into Fairlie house

The coal lorry crashed into Bonner's house. Picture: Contributed
The coal lorry crashed into Bonner's house. Picture: Contributed
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THE woman who died when a coal lorry crashed into her Ayrshire home yesterday was 55-year-old Catherine Bonner, it was confirmed today.

Her partner, who escaped with minor injuries from the rubble of their flat in Fairlie, was named as Jim McColl, also 55.

The 54-year-old lorry driver also suffered minor injuries, while a third person who was in the two-storey building was uninjured.

The chairman of the village’s community council said last night the incident was “an accident waiting to happen”.

Police said the ground floor of the two-storey building was “seriously damaged” in the crash, which happened on the A78 in the village’s Main Street around 1:45pm. Officers said the building had been left “structurally unsound”.

The injured people were taken in Inverclyde Royal Infirmary in Greenock.

Eyewitness Steve Graham, who is chairman of Fairlie Community Council, said: “There was a lorry deeply embedded into the corner of an old Victorian sandstone building.

“It is a coal lorry which, for whatever reason, has lost control and has ploughed into the house across the road. This was an accident waiting to happen. There have been a number of near misses but nothing on this scale.

“It is a very narrow road with premises adjacent to the road.

“We in the community council have been complaining about the weight of traffic coming through the A78, which it’s not built for.”

An eyewitness, Emel Zorlu, tweeted about the state of the building: “It looks like the whole side and front has fallen off.

“A coal truck is inside the building, an array of emergency services still on scene. The whole of the top flat has collapsed on to the road.”

The A78 was closed in both directions between north of Fairlie and Hunterston, with traffic diverted.

Superintendent Neil Kerr, of the Ayrshire division of Strathclyde Police, said: “At about 1:50pm an articulated lorry was travelling south on the A78 in the village of Fairlie where for some reason it has left the road and collided with the gable end of a house.

“Two people were inside the house, a 60-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman. Unfortunately and tragically, the woman has died of her injuries.

“What we are doing is working with our partners to stabilise the building so we can reopen the road. However, what I can say is, at this stage, the road will be closed for some time and diversion routes are up and running.”

A force spokeswoman added: “The ground floor of the building has been seriously damaged and has been deemed structurally unsound.”

The Scottish Ambulance Service sent its special operations response team. And a spokesman for Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said: “An articulated lorry crashed into a two-storey house.

“The building suffered a partial collapse and a large number of fire, police and ambulance staff attended.”