Heavy snow brings the roof down on top of Bignall End couple's car
THIS was the scene of destruction that greeted pensioner Albert Latham after heavy snow caused his car port to collapse.
Mr Latham was watching TV when the 24-feet-long roof disintegrated and crashed down on top of his car.
The collapse set off the vehicle's alarm and ripped out bricks from the wall of the motorist's home, in Aarons Drive, Bignall End.
The 69-year-old, pictured below, said: "I was sitting with my wife when we heard a loud creaking noise. Then all of a sudden, I heard my car alarm go off and I knew the car port had fallen. It was really terrifying."
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When Mr Latham went to assess the damage, he saw that several bricks had been pulled out of the wall.
The force of the collapse also left a dent on the car's roof rack.
The pensioner added: "It's a miracle that there was hardly any damage on the car. The fact it was there meant that it stopped the car port from ripping down the side wall where it was attached."
The 12-year-old car port, which should support a ton and a half of weight, had succumbed to the heavy snowfall, which culminated in Friday evening's blizzard.
Mr Latham said: "I've been up on the roof many times to wash it in summer so I'm really surprised that it collapsed due to the snow. A few of my neighbours have the exact same one and there's have been fine so we must be unlucky."
Mr Latham's wife Sheila, aged 66, also witnessed the incident on Friday night.
She said: "We've been living here since 1972 and nothing like this has happened before. I had a stroke 13 years ago so we built a car port there so I wouldn't get wet when I was getting in and out of the car.
"I'm really glad that my daughter picked our grandchildren up earlier because otherwise they might have been walking under the port when it collapsed. She had come to pick them up because the snow was so bad that day. A lot of cars were stuck along our drive. The boiler is actually attached to the inside wall so it's lucky there wasn't an explosion when the car port fell."
A group of eight men including Mr Latham's neighbours and son helped to unbolt the car port from the side of the house the next morning.
Neighbour Nick Eaton, aged 65, saw the damage when he went to walk the dog early on Saturday morning.
He said: "I saw the roof hanging from the top of Albert's car so I went to see what had happened.
"I saw the brick work protruding out from the wall, which was extremely dangerous.
"I was really shocked by all the damage the roof had caused. We all helped to lift the roof while Albert drove his car out from underneath.
"It's fortunate the car was there or it could have ripped the wall out causing the roof of the house to come off as well."
The brick work has since been secured and insurers are assessing the damage on the house.