Elderly driver who hit baby's pushchair has car seized after reversing into laundrette (From Times Series)
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Elderly driver who hit baby's pushchair in New Barnet has car seized after reversing into laundrette
Police seized an elderly driver's Jaguar when he reversed into a laundrette just days after hitting a baby's pushchair.
The pensioner, believed to be in his 80s, slammed the silver car into the doorway of a flat adjoining Jalpa’s Launderette, in Bulwer Road, New Barnet, at 10.55am today.
Witnesses said it was “incredibly lucky” no-one was standing on the pavement when he reversed at speed into the building.
The near-miss occurred just five days after officers allowed him to drive away from an incident in which a three-month-old baby was nearly killed.
The little boy was flung 20 feet in front of his horrified mother when the man’s Jaguar hit the pram at a zebra crossing in East Barnet Road.
Shocked witnesses ran out to help as the driver continued down the road for 50 metres, clipping a van’s wing mirror in the process.
He finally stopped in traffic before a shop worker caught up with him and pulled the keys out of the ignition.
The baby, who had remained strapped inside the buggy, escaped unhurt but was taken with his mother to Barnet Hospital as a precaution.
Police spoke to the driver, who had a large Alsatian in the back of his car, for more than an hour but eventually allowed him to continue on his journey.
Witnesses to this morning’s crash said the man looked confused when he got out of the vehicle and said the same Alsatian was in the car.
Suzan Kirbas, a hairdresser at Kage Salon, over the road from the laundrette, said: “He just looked dazed – he probably wasn’t aware of what he was doing.
“It was very lucky no-one was behind him when it happened – it was very dangerous.”
Police, paramedics and the fire service were called to the incident, in which the doorway to the flat was completely destroyed.
Structural surveyors were brought in to assess the building after the crash.
Officers seized the man’s car when it was recovered early this afternoon and reported him for driving offences.
The Metropolitan Police said it was unable to confirm a link between the incidents but witnesses today heard the driver speaking about Friday’s collision.
One man who works over the road from the launderette but wanted to remain anonymous said: “Everyone knows the guy around here. When he got out, someone said ‘didn’t you hit a pram on Friday?’ and he said ‘yes, but it wasn’t my fault’.
“If anyone had been walking behind his car today they wouldn’t be here to speak about it – he must have hit it with some force.
“I’m guessing he thought he was in drive but put the car in reverse instead.”