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Portslade toddler lucky to be alive after car smashes into house
An 18-month-old boy was just a metre from being crushed when a stolen car crashed into his home.
Riley Cooper’s horrified mother Gemma said her son was lucky to be alive after the incident in Valley Road, Portslade, at 1.15pm on Tuesday.
Mrs Cooper, 30, who works for domestic abuse charity Rise, left Riley in his buggy outside as she turned off the burglar alarm when they arrived home.
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She was inside for “a split second” when there was a deafening crash and it felt like “the house was caving in”.
She raced outside to see a car, which was fleeing from Sussex Police officers, had crashed through a railing and into her home.
Speaking yesterday Mrs Cooper, who is married to Ben, 30, said: “I was completely hysterical. I thought, ‘What has happened to Riley?’ It’s a miracle he is OK.”
Mrs Cooper said debris from the stolen car, an Audi TT which had been taken from Angmering, near Littlehampton, on Sunday, littered her garden and surrounded Riley.
As she tried to unstrap her son from the buggy two occupants of the vehicle climbed out and ran away. A third was trapped in the car.
Mrs Cooper said: “The police arrived really quickly. They said to get away because the car could catch fire.
“I don’t like to think about how it could have been, what could have happened.”
The family stayed with relatives on Tuesday before returning home late on Wednesday.
But the house is still a scene of devastation and they have to live upstairs.
Inspector Steve Grace Sussex of Police confirmed the crash followed a “short pursuit”.
A 23-year-old Portslade man and a 17-year-old teenager from Hove arrested in connection with the incident have both been released on bail until February 25 while police enquiries continue.
A third person remains at large.
Anyone who saw what happened or who has any information about the incident is asked to contact policee on 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting Operation Lothian.
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