man from Steeton had a miraculous escape when a car
smashed into his house as he made a cup of tea.
Bob Barras, 29, threw himself to the floor when
the black Mercedes C220 crashed into the wall of the
stone-built kitchen in the farmhouse he shares with
his parents in Barrows Lane, Whitley Head.
force of the collision was “like an explosion” and
sent large stones from the wall and a heavy granite
worktop flying across the kitchen – just missing Mr
The car had struck a lamp-post, spun on to the
opposite side of the narrow country lane and into
the kitchen window.
Mr Barras, who had just come home from work when
the crash happened, said: “I was scared. I saw a
black car coming down the road and all of a sudden
there was a whack and I just jumped out of the way.
I was shaking.”
mum Linda and dad Sid ran into the badly-damaged
kitchen to check on their son, who has Down’s
Luckily, he suffered only a small graze on his
Mr Barras senior, 64, said: “He had just been at
the Aga making tea. How he wasn’t killed, I don’t
“It was as if somebody had dropped a bomb and
there was Bob on the floor. There was dust
everywhere and I couldn’t see what was happening.”
Mr Barras, a former British champion cyclist,
“shot outside” to see whether any of the men in the
car had been injured.
Mrs Barras said: “We looked into the car,
expecting to see somebody seriously injured – if not
fatally – but he came back and said they had legged
He then got in his car and, with a eighbour,
chased the four men, who police described as Asian
and in their 20s, as they made off towards Keighley
He said: “We got halfway up the hill and they had
crossed over the wall. I told the last one what I
would do if I caught him.
“It was pandemonium, all the neighbours were out
and the ambulance was here.”
Firefighters and the police were also called to
the scene following the crash at about 5.30pm on
The fire service cordoned off the road and police
redirected traffic as Bob was treated for shock in
The owner of the badly-damaged car, a man from
Bradford, turned up later and told the family that
the men who had fled had had permission to use the
The crash caused more than £40,000 worth of
damage and the family are now having to cook in
their camper van.
Mrs Barras is now calling for a major overhaul of
safety on the narrow road.
He said: “We think it should be 20mph with
A police spokesman said: “We were called to
Barrows Lane at 5.34pm to reports that four men had
crashed a car into a wall and run off towards
“The men, who are described as four Asian men in
their 20s, made off.
“No arrests have been made.”
© Newsquest Media Group 2012