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‘It’s negligence’ - Mother’s complaint after son’s car badly damaged by raised manhole cover

PUBLISHED: 16:20 19 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:20 19 March 2018

The force of the impact set off the airbags in his Seat Leon FR, smashed his windscreen and “knocked off” the car’s engine mount, Mrs Davey said. Photo: Sara Davey

The force of the impact set off the airbags in his Seat Leon FR, smashed his windscreen and “knocked off” the car’s engine mount, Mrs Davey said. Photo: Sara Davey

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A mum has accused Norfolk County Council of negligence after her son’s car was badly damaged by a raised drainage cover.

Sara Davey said her 22-year-old son Thomas (pictured) struck the object while driving along North Walsham Road in Sprowston at around 9.15pm on Saturday (March 17, 2018). Photo: Sara DaveySara Davey said her 22-year-old son Thomas (pictured) struck the object while driving along North Walsham Road in Sprowston at around 9.15pm on Saturday (March 17, 2018). Photo: Sara Davey

Sara Davey said her 22-year-old son Thomas struck the object while driving along North Walsham Road in Sprowston at around 9.15pm on Saturday (March 17, 2018).

The force of the impact set off the airbags in his Seat Leon FR, smashed his windscreen and “knocked off” the car’s engine mount, Mrs Davey said.

She claimed he was driving at around 20mph at the time.

Norfolk County Council said it had been “assured” by contractors that all necessary measures were in place to inform drivers of raised works.

The raised manhole on North Walsham Road. Photo: Sara DaveyThe raised manhole on North Walsham Road. Photo: Sara Davey

But Mrs Davey, of Bussey Road, north Norwich, disputes the council’s comment.

She claims there were no signs to warn drivers above the manhole cover, which was raised nine inches above the road and hidden under snow.

“I just think it is negligence [by the council],” Mrs Davey said.

“There was no signage or any barriers around the manhole. It is just ridiculous.

Thomas Davey's Seat Leon. Photo: Sara DaveyThomas Davey's Seat Leon. Photo: Sara Davey

“Once my son’s car was moved, other cars were going over the ramp and there were sparks coming from underneath them.”

Mrs Davey said her son’s vehicle, which is lowered and fully insured, was his “pride and joy” which he took to car shows.

He also required it to get to work, as he is employed as a carpenter.

Police and Norfolk Recovery had to be called to the scene, near to the Mounteney Close junction, to remove the car from the road.

“We think the car is going to be a write-off,” Mrs Davey said.

“When the engine mount was knocked off, that is when the engine stopped and all the lights came on the dashboard.

“He also suffered whiplash, but has still gone into work today.”

Mrs Davey added she was in the process of making a complaint to the county council.

A spokesperson for Norfolk County Council said the manhole cover was raised as part of resurfacing work between Allen’s Lane and White Woman Lane on North Walsham Road.

“The contractor has assured us that all necessary measures were in place to inform drivers of the raised works, which included signage and temporary ramping around raised covers,” the spokesperson said.


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