Street light fell on parked car, narrowly missing father and son | UK News
A father is fighting a council for compensation after part of a lamppost fell on his car – narrowly missing his 12-year-old son in the back seat.
Emmanuel Offor was parked near a shopping center when street furniture suddenly crashed onto the rear roof of his Volkswagen.
Mr Offor, 43, and his son Toochi were showered with flying glass and he believes the falling metal may have killed a bystander.
They had stopped at a parish car park in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, on an outing to buy Toochi shoes to match his outfit for his christening a few hours later at the nearby Christ the King parish church.
Mr Offor said: “We were having a discussion about which shoes to buy and there was a loud noise, it was like a bomb going off.
“We were covered in glass and the roof of the car was weighed down because the metal was so heavy. The lamppost was very tall, it must have been about 30 feet. My son was covered in glass and metal splinters.
“This light came down very close to his head.
“We had to be very careful when we stripped off his clothes and removed the sharp objects from his body.
“It was supposed to be a happy day for my son’s christening, but we had to cancel the party and it turned out to be a very sad day.
“But it’s not just about us, the weight of that falling metal could have killed anyone who walked by.”
Mr Offor, a law student at Strathclyde University, was in the driver’s seat with his then-wife and son, now 14, in the left rear seat next to him when the lamp went out. He immediately called the police, who referred him to South Lanarkshire Council. A community worker removed the metal from the car, which was parked near the Regent Center on Low Patrick Street, before taking the family home.
The Jetta was written off but the father-of-two had to pay £375 more to his insurers and was only paid £3,000 for a vehicle for which he originally paid around £11,000 in financing over four years.
He wants the council to take responsibility and provide compensation for the September 25, 2021 accident.
Mr Offor, from Blantyre, filled out a claim form saying all three suffered headaches as a result of the incident.
They were late for the baptism and had to cancel the party because they were unwell and didn’t have transportation.
About a month later, the municipality forwarded the matter to an external claims service provider, without a solution having been found to date.
“Any of us could have been killed by that much falling metal, especially if we were standing next to the car,” Offor said.
“It looks like my son had the scare of his life and we endured the stress and the injury and I’m still financially drained.
“The Council refuses to accept liability, it feels like a dog vs. elephant battle as I battle the entire Council legal team.
“I have since referred my complaint to my insurance company’s legal department but they say the council will not accept liability because I have to prove the council was at fault. But I want the Council to take responsibility, not just for us, but because public safety is at stake.”
A South Lanarkshire Council spokesman said: “We are aware of this unfortunate incident and sympathize with Mr Offor and his son.
‘Due to the ongoing court proceedings, however, we are currently unable to comment further on this specific case.’
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