Wincanton's focused community website, providing news and information including a full calendar
News » Churches/Religion » C of E Parish

Police Arrest Driver After Crashing Into Church Gates

Wednesday 4 December 2013, 14:23
By John Smith

Heavily damaged Wincanton Parish Church gates

On Saturday 30th November the Rector Rev. Nigel Fever was contacted by local Police to inform him of an unfortunate incident concerning the gates at the entrance to St Peter and St Paul's Parish Church.

At 3:48am that morning a driver under the influence of drink decided that Church Street was a valid route to take, but against the flow of traffic.

We understand that the local Police happened to be in the area of the Town Hall and witnessed the driver proceed down Church Street against the one-way system. They followed the car and witnessed it try to negotiate the stout gates of St. Peter and St. Paul's.

Judging by the damaged to the gates the car must have been travelling at a fair speed. Those gates and pillars are pretty stout. Avon and Somerset Police confirmed that a 22 year old man was taken into custody on suspicion of dangerous driving and driving under the influence of drink. He has since been bailed pending further investigations that could lead to charges.

Here are the Church gates before they were demolished by a very naughty boy

The Rev Fever explained that, unlike damage to a normal modern wall, this wall and gates are pretty old and will probably be subject to involvement of outside agencies like English Heritage.

As we all know work on ancient buildings is never an easy thing. Rev. Fever and his parishioners have only recently completed extensive work on the church roof with all the machinations that this entailed. It looks like they are about to start another round to try and bring the boundary wall and gates back to a serviceable state.

Repairs could be complicated by the fact that the Church is responsible for the wall and the gates, but the Town Council would have been responsible for damage to the actual graveyard or grave stones.


Posts: 1
Reply #1 on : Thu December 05, 2013, 20:09:01
I am incredibly sad to see that this has happened. These gates are important to me after having walked through them with my sister on her wedding day earlier this year. I was hoping to do the same myself next May.
Posts: 1
Reply #2 on : Mon December 16, 2013, 14:40:02
I want to do why do young men feel the need to drink and drive. I lived abroad for Seven years in a country where drink driving was a major issue.
The amount of recent accidents on our roads surely should teach a few of these lads a serious lesson. What i would like to know is if this lad was arrested for drink driving as reported in the Western Gazette who is liable for paying for the damage done to this lovely church wall. As if he was even insured, the insurance policy will be void if he had been drinking. Makes me sick.
Posts: 1
Reply #3 on : Mon December 16, 2013, 17:24:49
Our understanding is that the driver was insured, and if he hasn’t done anything to nullify the policy the claim should go through in the normal way. Sadly even insurance companies can’t compensate for all the hassle that comes with such issues.

A year or so ago a drunk driver smashed into our son’s car ramming it into our front wall. Police were involved and we were informed that the driver had no insurance. It wasn’t our fault, but a claim had to be made on the car policy for the damage to the car. Unfortunately because the car was written off the insurer then became the enemy as they tried to pay out as little as possible to save their profit line.

A separate claim had to be made on the home insurance because the front wall of the house had to be taken down to check for possible internal damage. We had two claims without any chance of the insurance company retrieving anything from the guilty party. The drunk driver was taken to court and found guilty. The only compensation in all of this was an award by the court of several hundred pounds for the car, and the house to be paid over a period at £10 per week. Not enough to compensate for the actual loss or the resultant hassle.

A national car insurer told us that if you are convicted of being drunk or under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident, they would not pay out any claims against your policy. It would be null and void. This may differ insurer to insurer. St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s may well have a tough time if the drunk driver’s insurers decide to nullify his insurance. Just because you pay for insurance doesn’t mean that you’re covered.
Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 17:35:16 by johnsmith  

Login to comment!

© 2009 Wincanton Window    -    Site designed, hosted and maintained by Link-2