Van driver accidentally takes entire roof off car park building

The driver accidentally ripped the roof of a car park building in Exeter. (Reach)
The driver accidentally ripped the roof of a car park building in Exeter. (Reach)

A van driver left a car park with something unexpected on top after accidentally ripping the roof off the entrance.

The motorist was heard “screaming, effing and blinding” when he realised he had taken the entrance pillars off.

A resident was stunned after witnessing the incident in Exeter at around 11am on Tuesday.

The local, who wishes to remain anonymous, said they were inside an address in Steeple Drive, Alphington, when all of a sudden they heard a loud noise.

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A resident was left stunned after witnessing the incident. (Reach)
A resident was left stunned after witnessing the incident. (Reach)

The resident told DevonLive: "The driver of the van was helping a friend or a family member move in.

"Suddenly I heard this noise. I can't even describe it, as soon as I heard it I flew to the window.

"I saw the driver jump out of the van and he was screaming, effing and blinding.

"The roof ripped right off the entrance pillars and was on top of the van."

The eye-witness adds although it was an unusual incident, he is surprised that it hasn't happened before.

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He said: "Usually that roof is sat up on pillars, and as he has gone to drive through he has made a bad judgment error - and at some speed I can image - and taken it off.

"I am surprised it hasn't happened sooner because when I went outside to see what had happened, I saw that one of the pillars which was in the ground was soaking wet and looked rotten.

"It's made me think, with all of the wind that we have had, how hasn't this happened sooner."

The resident said around 15-minutes after the event took place, fire crews were on the scene.

He added: "Fire crews turned up and they were puzzled. The AA also turned up but they have both gone now.

"The van has been moved and cornered off, but it is blocking some spaces for other properties. It looks like it will be there for a while now.

"I spoke to the driver, he says they are trying to get hold of the car park owners to see if they can pull the roof off of the van, because obviously if they do that it will smash into pieces."

The motorist was heard “screaming, effing and blinding”. (Reach)
The motorist was heard 'screaming, effing and blinding'. (Reach)

The resident said he was told by the driver the van is a rental and that they may have to pay for a crane to remove the roof.

He said: "The driver informed me that the van is a rental, and said the insurance (company) refused to help, the rental company refused to help, the firefighters said they didn't know what to do and he'd have to potentially pay privately for a crane, and AA then arrived as and they were baffled on what to do or how to help."

Speaking to Devon Live, a spokesperson for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service confirmed they had been on the scene.

A spokesperson added: "Middlemore crew attended the incident from 11.15am – 12.21pm.

"They made sure the vehicle was safe. There was no major damage to the roof."