A MAN has joined his neighbours' fight for traffic-calming measures after a lorry crashed into his garden in the middle of the night.

David Aspin thought he was dreaming when wife Valerie woke him at 2am on Saturday to tell him to look out of the bedroom window because there was a Leyland DAF lorry in the garden, its engine and windscreen wipers still running.

The accident at his home on Birch Hall Avenue, Darwen, caused hundreds of pounds of damage to a wall, a hedge and the grass in his garden.

The driver fled the scene, although police sergeant Andrea Bradbury said the vehicle was not stolen.

She added that there was a strong smell of alcohol in the vehicle. The police towed the lorry away for examination.

Now Mr Aspin, 53, is backing his neighbours who have been campaigning for two years for measures to stop dangerous driving through their estate.

A public meeting attended by 40 locals was staged in November 1999 after a seven year-old boy was knocked down. And last October, residents renewed their appeal after no action was taken by Blackburn with Darwen Council.

Council officers are currently carrying out consultation with residents with a view to putting a 20mph speed limit on the estate by November. But Mr Aspin, who moved into the estate with Valerie and 19-year-old daughter Donna 12 months ago, felt installing speed bumps may be the only solution.

He said: "People don't bomb down, but the road is too narrow because there are grass verges at the edge, so many wagons can't get through.

"If there were speed bumps, then this driver would have been slowed right down and it might not have happened. Everybody was up in the street looking at what had happened.

"My wife woke me up and said 'there's a van in the front garden'. I thought I was still dreaming.

"It was just parked there, with its engine and windscreen wipers still going.

"It had not overturned but if it had slid a bit further across, it would have come right through our front porch."