Driver crashes the wake: Family’s funeral buffet is interrupted as car careers into wall of Stevenage pub

Guests outside the pub after the car hit

Guests outside the pub after the car hit - Credit: Archant

A grieving family got the shock of their lives when a car came ploughing through the wall of a Stevenage pub where they were holding a wake.

The car ploughed into the pub during the wake on Sunday afternoon.

The car ploughed into the pub during the wake on Sunday afternoon. - Credit: Archant

Production manager Peter Monk, who lives in the town, couldn’t believe it when his extended family were about to tuck into a buffet laid on in memory of his late auntie when they were interrupted by the terrible sound of a car smashing into the The Chequers pub at Bragbury End.

He said: “We were at the crematorium then went back to the pub for the wake – there were about 20 of us.

“All of a sudden we heard this massive bang.

“It felt like the whole pub shook, then you could see the car implanted in the front of the building.

Peter Monk with his mum Maureen Monk

Peter Monk with his mum Maureen Monk - Credit: Archant

“You could just hear the revving of the engine. We think the driver had dropped his wife off, then his foot got stuck between the accelerator and the brake.

“It hit my mum’s car and a white picket fence, and then smashed into the wall of the pub.

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“The gentleman had a cut on his head, it could have been a lot worse.

“It was lucky there was no-one walking in or out of the pub at the time, it would have killed them.”

The family had gathered to mark the passing of Peter’s paternal aunt Margaret Monks, who lived in Walkern and died recently at the age of 86.

He added: “We were just going to sit down and they were bringing in the buffet when it happened.

“It had been quite a solemn day up to that point.

“I think it was just an accident, it was one of those things, but it was so lucky no-one was killed with it being a nice day and there being people sitting in the garden.

“We did manage to carry on with the wake but it did put a bit of a dampener on it as everybody was talking about the crash.”

Peter said his mum Maureen laughingly blamed him for her car – a red Honda Insight – getting damaged because he had persuaded her to park where she did.

Police have confirmed they were called to the pub at 1.45pm on Thursday to reports that a man in his 70s had driven a blue Ford Focus through the pub garden and hit the building.

They confirmed the man had accidentally put his car into drive instead of reverse and suffered minor injuries.

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