Tanker Hit House Front – Invalid Boy Left Room Just Before

August 1960

South Yorkshire Times, August 20th, 1960

Tanker Hit House Front

Invalid Swinton Boy Left Room Just Before Crash

An unexplainable premonition by a Swinton woman, probably saved her spastic son from serious injury on Wednesday.

During the school holidays. it had become the habit of 17-years-old David Benton, invalid son of Mr. and Mrs. William Benton,of 63, Fitzwilliarn Street, to spend the afternoon sitting by the front room window, typing.

On Wednesday, against her son’s wishes, Mrs. Benton persuaded David to leave his typing near the window and go out in his self-propelled wheel-chair.

A few minutes after Mrs. Benton had seen David clear of the house, a 10 ton tanker, belonging to Yorkshire Tar Distillers Ltd., Kilnhurst,  got out of control as it descended Piccadilly Hill opposite the house.

The vehicle mounted the pavement and smashed into the front of the house, and the spot where David usually sat was buried in debris.

Room Wrecked

It was a shaken, but relieved Mrs. Benton who left the work of clearing up the wreckage which had been her front room, to tell the “South Yorkshire Times” of her son’s narrow escape. She said she was in the back of the house when she heard a heavy bump and a shattering of glass.

Thinking someone had been involved in an accident, Mrs. Benton went round the front of the house to offer assistance, only to find that a giant tanker had buried its nose into her front room. If her son had remained in the house, he would not have been able to get away in time, said Mrs. Benton. “It is a miracle he was not killed.”

The lorry driver, George Martin, of 40, Scott Avenue, Conanby, was taken to hospital with head injuries but was allowed home later. Late on Wednesday night, passers-by who had been used to seeing David sitting at the window were still anxiously calling at the house to see if he had been injured.