A BUS driver escaped with minor injuries when a coach ploughed through the front of a cottage following a terrifying early morning collision in West Lothian – just days after the property was sold at auction.
Emergency responders rushed to the scene shortly after 7.40am after the coach smashed into a home on Main Street in East Whitburn. The crash decimated the front of the terraced cottage, which recently went under the hammer with a guide price of £69,000.
It is understood the driver – thought to be a man in his 70s – was thrown from his seat and became trapped between the passenger door and a wall before fire crews freed him using specialist equipment.
He was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary as a precaution where he was treated for minor injuries.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing the coach mount the kerb and career through the garden wall and into the front of the house.
Road closures were put in place from the junction at Blaeberry Hill to the A801 junction for the M8, while Hens Nest Road was also closed south of the Equestrian Centre. A neighbouring cottage is also understood to have been partially damaged during the incident.
The property, which had been sold subject to the signing of official documentation, was empty at the time of the incident. The listing described it as “perfect for renovation” prior to going up for auction in Dalry earlier this week. Wilson’s Auctions, who handled the sale of the property, declined to comment.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said inquiries were ongoing into the incident. She said: “A single-decker bus collided with a house in Main Street, East Whitburn at 7.40am on Friday morning,
“The male bus driver sustained minor injuries only. It does not seem anyone else has been involved.”
One eyewitness praised the work of emergency crews, adding they were “very quick” to make sure the driver was removed from the vehicle safely.
He said: “There was no-one in the building at the time, but when the fire service, the paramedics arrived, they were quick in getting the driver out, making sure he was OK and treating him.
“I think they had to be quite careful in what they were doing given the damage. It looked like the roof of the house could have come in at any moment.”
Fire crews later helped secure the structure of the building before the bus was removed. The road was reopened shortly before midday.
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: “Operations Control mobilised a number of fire engines to Main Street where firefighters used specialist cutting equipment to safely removed one male casualty.”