Miracle escape as mum saves baby daughter by outrunning 32-tonne lorry

Simon Garner
Yahoo! News

A miracle mum saved her baby daughter from being crushed to death when she outran a 32-tonne lorry - seconds before it demolished her home.

Jen Whitelam, 23, was halfway out of her front door with one-year-old Bella, when she spotted the out of control lorry careering towards her.

Incredibly, Jen grabbed Bella's hand and managed to sprint to the back of their semi-detached home as the lorry smashed through the property.

The force of the crash demolished Jen's two-bedroom home and crushed her £8,000 Ford Focus car which was parked on the driveway.

The 60ft long lorry ended up embedded in the entire house but missed terrified Jen and Bella by inches.

The unmanned lorry crashed into Jen's home in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, at 8.40am on Friday May 4 after the driver left the handbrake off.

Today Jen described the moment she scrambled herself with Bella to a back room in the property as the lorry tore through her home.

She said: "I was literally seconds away. If I hadn't opened the front door I wouldn't have seen it.

"To open the door and see it coming towards us was terrifying. Bella was stood next to me holding my hand.

"I didn't have time to pick her up, I just dragged her to the back of the house.

"As we started to run to the back, the sound of it coming through the wall was like nothing I have ever heard before.

"The house was shaking and it was awful. The first thing it hit was my car, it totally smashed it. And then it came through the kitchen.

"We had been eating breakfast in there a few minutes before. If we had been five minutes longer, we would have been dead.

"It's a good job my car was out there, I think that slowed it down a bit, otherwise it might have come through to the room we were hiding in."

Jen's sister Rebekah, 20, who was in the living room downstairs also managed to scramble to safety at the back of the house.

The crash caused £69,000 worth of damage and single mum Jen and Bella were forced to live in a hotel for three weeks after the crash.

They have now been warned they will not be able to return to their home before Christmas as repairs are carried out.

The lorry firm, JB Tool and Plant Hire, have paid £69,000 to Jen's landlord to cover the damage but have refused to reimburse her for the loss of her car or her belongings.

Jen, who works part-time as a dental assistant, stormed: "The finance company won't write off the £3,000, the insurance company won't pay the extra £3,000 as the model of that car has devalued.

"And JB Cool and Plant Hire won't pay a penny to me."

She added: "I'm disgusted by all of them. I wasn't the one in the wrong - yet I've been shafted."

Leicestershire-based JB Tool and Plant Hire today apologised to Jen for the incident and confirmed the driver had been disciplined.

Manager Peter Cox said: "The driver has been disciplined. We are investigating the incident and we obviously apologise to Miss Whitelam.

"The matter is now in the hands of our insurers."

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes