An old lady ploughed her car through a packed marquee during a village flower show – having taped instructions on HOW TO DRIVE to her dashboard.
Dozens of fete-goers were forced to jump for their lives when the blue Toyota RAV4 automatic car careered through the main marque and collided with a stage.
Miraculously no-one was seriously injured during the incident at the Burnham Market flower show in Norfolk at the weekend.
However organisers were stunned to find the handwritten note taped to the vehicles dashboard after making sure the un-named, elderly driver was okay.
The note read: “Key in ignition. Foot on brake. Start engine. Gear Lever into D. Foot off brake.”
Dr Diana Black, 53, secretary of the Burnham’s Flower Show and Carnival, Norfolk, said: “It was like a terrorist incident. It was absolutely terrible.
“It was an accident, but when I saw that note I was in disbelief and started to feel angry – if you need written instructions, surely you shouldn’t be driving.”
“We were astonished and hugely relieved that there were no fatalities or serious injuries but it was very distressing that all time and effort of the contestants who had entered the competitions in the marquee was virtually ruined.
“There could’ve been fatalities or serious injuries but miraculously there wasn’t.
“We were also sorry that the locals and visitors were deprived of the main part of what is normally a wonderful and important community event.”
Diana said the elderly female driver got out of the car shaken up and apologetic.
Eyewitness Annette Lowe, 50, who had been in the tent, said: “We heard an almighty bang, I turned around and saw this car going through the stage, I just looked on in utter bewilderment.
“Although the car was going fast, everything else felt like it was moving in slow motion.”
The incident happened around 11.30am on Saturday at the event in Burnham Market, Norfolk.
Around 12 people were in the tent at the time of the incident and around 30 people were setting up the show.
Treasurer Laurence Rubin is reported to have been knocked over by the car and was treated with minor injuries.
Dr Black said a few people sustained minor injuries for which she had assisted the paramedics who were called to the scene immediately.
Norfolk Police are investigating what happened and considering what action to take, if any.
The force’s Inspector Lou Provart said on Twitter: “A traffic offence report has been completed and will be submitted for consideration of any offences based on the facts gathered at scene, including the note.”
Treasurer Laurence Rubin, 71, who was thrown from his chair by the car, says he “is lucky to be alive” after the crash “knocked” him out.
He says the elderly woman driving the car is known by others for her “erratic” driving.
Laurence, from London, said: “I was sitting in the marquee and suddenly I became aware that I’d been hit and things kept falling on top of me.
“I woke up, which makes me believe I was knocked out, to see people around me and the ambulance had been called.
“I feel sorry for the woman because of what has happened but in the same sense I think she has no right to be driving given her track record.
“Her driving is known to be erratic driving, she herself is fairly frail.
“I believe it was her car and I think her daughter was with her at the time.
“I have got aches and pains and will be going for a CT scan.
“I am lucky to be alive.”