RESIDENTS of a new housing estate believe their homes can be fixed after a HGV crashed into the front of a row of houses.

People living in the Middridge Vale development, at Shildon, were shocked yesterday afternoon when a haulage truck left the roundabout that leads to their estate and collided with the front of a house.

The Northern Echo:

The vehicle was removed at about 8.30pm - more than five hours after the crash - once structural engineers had ensured the building was safe.

Today the ground floor windows and front doors to two properties in the row, off Spout Lane, near the Locomotion railway museum, are boarded up and the occupants have moved out.

The Northern Echo:

Stacey Barnes, who lives next door with her family, said: "I wasn't home when it happened but a neighbour called me and said I'd better get back.

"The man that lives in the house that was hit was upstairs working in his office, he was shaken but he's fine, he's staying with his dad in Middlesbrough.

"They [structural engineers] think that the houses can be saved, worst case scenario is that the two that were hit would have to come down but I think they'll be okay.

"For being new houses this is a tight community and people rushed out to see if they can help.

"We were told the driver might have had some sort of blackout, the poor fella."

The cause of the crash is not yet known but it is understood there will be no police action following the incident.

The Northern Echo: