Miracle escape on Easter Sunday in Hawick High Street

A couple had a miracle Easter escape after masonry fell onto their car from a building in Hawick High Street.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 6:24 am
A close escape. ((Photo: SAM CHRISTOPHER CORNWELL)

The terrifying incident took place when the vehicle was parked outside the former Burton’s menswear outlet, 63/74 High Street, at 4pm on Sunday, April 4.

Steven and Sharon Lothian were just about to vacate the vehicle when the masonry, believed to be a chimney, crashed onto the rear of the car.

Mr Lothian, 44, who works at Emtelle in Hawick, said: “It was surreal to say the least. We had just been away getting some shopping and got the car washed after the shopping.

"Two minutes later I pulled up outside my house and I’ve got a remote that opens the boot, so I was getting out of the car to open the boot and that’s when it happened.

"A couple of seconds later and we would have been in the boot and it would have killed us.

"I called the police and then insurance and I was told it was going to affect my no claims, the excess will have to be paid by me and then I’ll have to take the building owners on at the smalls claims court.

"The dash cam footage is incredible. You can see it falling off the building and crashing on the boot. You can hearing my wife swearing after the impact.”

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said: “Building standards were informed and visited the site.

"Whilst there were no obvious signs of further loose masonry from ground level, the area immediately outside the property will remain cordoned off until the property’s owner has further investigations carried out.”

Stepen Jacobs, of Leeds-based Stoneacre Properties, owners of the building which until recently housed the Dorothy Perkins and Burton stores, standing side by side on the High Street, said a building expert would be appointed to carry out a roof surface survey and the usual insurance process activated, adding: “The overriding thought is gratitude that the couple escaped any injury.”

Scottish Borders Council’s planning portal last month featured a planning application to retain both units as retail.

Additionally, the application is to convert the premises above the shops into nine apartments on the upper levels.