Shell-shocked dad said he thought a 'bomb had gone off' when a car smashed into his family’s self-built dream home in Desborough

He ran outside, saw the young driver slumped unconscious at the wheel – and immediately feared he was dead

Friday, 15th May 2020, 5:30 pm

A shell-shocked dad said he thought a “bomb had gone off” when a car smashed into his family’s house in Desborough late one night.

Stunned Jack Walther, 33, jumped out of bed and dashed downstairs in his underpants after the Mercedes C220 careered into his “dream home” he’d just built himself.

He ran outside, saw the young driver slumped unconscious at the wheel – and immediately feared he was dead.

Katie and Jack Walther survey the damage to their house after a car ploughed into it on Dunkirk Avenue, Desborough. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Talking to the Harborough Mail from his seriously-battered home, Jack said: “I was in total shock.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

“But I’m becoming angrier and angrier about it as time goes on.

“We are going to have do so much work – costing over £100,000 – to rebuild it and repair the damage.

Jack Walther surveys the damage to their house after a car ploughed into it on Dunkirk Avenue, Desborough. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“It’s catastrophic – and it’s an absolute nightmare for all of us.”

The drama happened at about 1.30am on the morning of Wednesday May 13.

Jack said he was asleep with his wife Katie, 38, a frontline NHS paramedic, when the powerful silver car ploughed into their house in Dunkirk Avenue, Desborough.

“It sounded like a bomb going off – like a huge explosion.

“The whole house shook,” said the shattered dad-of-two.

“I shot out of bed and ran downstairs in my pants.

“I could see the car’s hazard lights flashing.

“Our kitchen was covered in dust and I could smell fuel.

“I dashed outside.

“The Mercedes had crashed in to the corner of our house.

“There was nothing left of the car’s bonnet, the car was virtually destroyed.

“We live on a corner and the driver clearly made no attempt to brake.

“He must have been doing 60mph when he hit us.

“We built this house to be so strong and yet the impact pushed the entire property back two inches.

“The driver was slumped back in his seat, up against his headrest.

“He looked dead to me.

“I ran back upstairs to make sure that our young boys, Henry and Rory, were all right – and thank God they were.”

Jack said Katie leapt into action as the devastating disaster began to sink in.

“Katie’s a paramedic and she was very cool, she helped to calm me down.

“She went out to check the driver’s pulse – and he was alive.

“He’s very lucky not to have been killed,” said the well-known local builder.

“There was no blood and he hadn’t suffered any obvious injuries – his airbag had gone off.

“My mum, who lives next door, and a late-night by-passer called 999.

“The police, firemen and ambulance service all got here very quickly.

“The driver was rushed to hospital.

“The police were here till 4 in the morning – we were just in a daze.

“But amazingly Henry, who’s five, and Rory, two, slept all night throughout all this drama bless them.”

Jack said they had been given the land to build the house on by his mum Carole, 63, and dad Carl, 66.

He runs building company Carl the Builder & Son with his dad.

“My parents live next door.

“It’s taken me and my dad two years to build this house and it’s our dream home – our for ever home.

“It’s been a real labour of love,” said Jack.

“Rory had just been born and I missed my boys as I worked 12-hour days building this house.

“I put so much toil, sweat and tears into it.

“And now it’s in such a devastating state – it’s so hard to take in.”

He said he had just finished painting the kitchen at the spacious four-bed detached property boasting a games room a week ago.

“We had just got it how we wanted it – it’s a fantastic house.

“The structural engineer has just been out and we are looking at over £100,000 to put this right.

“We’re insured but it will take at least 12 weeks to get started.

“We need a new kitchen, rewiring, bay window.

“We’ll have to knock down the front and corner of our house and start again.

“I’ll try to get a couple of local builders in to help me out this time.

“It’s massively upsetting as I’d just finished.

“But it could have been far worse.

“The car hit us just two metres away from where little Henry’s head was as he slept in the bedroom above.

“Bricks and mortar can be replaced – but our little boy can’t.”

Katie told the Mail: “It’s a totally freak accident.

“We are gutted because we had just finished painting and putting down carpets after so long working on it.

“But we’ll just have to crack on – we have no other choice.”

Based at Kettering General Hospital, the part-time paramedic added: “I stayed calm when the crash happened.

“I went out to check the driver and he had a pulse, he was OK.

“So I stepped back and left it up the ambulance crew to attend to him.”

Katie said the shattering incident had taken its toll.

“It would be terrible enough but happening in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic makes this even worse.

“We are jumpy and nervous if we hear any sounds at night.

“Our two boys are both sleeping in our bedroom for the time being,” she said.

“But I’d like to thank the local community who have really rallied around us.

“Neighbours, friends and people Jack’s worked for have brought us cards and flowers as well as sweets for the kids - it’s so heartwarming.”

If you would like to support Jack and his family you can find his building firm, Carl the Builder & Son, here: 25-year-old Desborough man was arrested following the crash and quizzed over the following offences - dangerous driving, driving over the prescribed limit, taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent and

The suspect has now been “released under investigation pending further enquiries”, Northamptonshire Police said.