SHERIDAN Smith was last night "lucky to be alive" after smashing her Range Rover at high speed into a tree.
Severe damage to the higher branches of the tree suggested the car may have been airborne when it hit.
The TV and stage actress was driving on a narrow country road just 600 yards from her home in Essex on Saturday when the car left the road on a tight bend.
Police yesterday confirmed they had spoken the 40-year-old mum-of-one and her boyfriend in the wake of the smash but no other driver was involved and no crime had been committed.
Officers were yesterday inspecting the scene where large fragments of her car including a rear bumper and tail lights were still on the floor.
Sheridan was driving in icy conditions as Storm Arwen hit last weekend – with 60mph winds also making driving treacherous.
‘So lucky to be alive’
The smash was enough to break large branches from one tree while local farmers had to cut down parts of a second tree to allow cops through to the scene.
She was taken back to her house by a pal before emergency services arrived. It is understood someone from her household called police to the crash.
A neighbour said last night: "Sheridan is so lucky to be alive. It could have been so much worse. Her car was stuck in the tree, it was a really bad crash.
"It could have been so much worse, she had cuts and bruises, but it could have been fatal, she was incredibly lucky. It was a brand new Range Rover, she hasn't had it long. It's almost a miracle she's not hurt herself more.
"It's an incredibly tight bend to take at the best of times, never mind in a freezing storm like Arwen. For the car to be actually stuck IN the tree it must have been travelling with some force. She managed to get back to the house then someone called the cops.
“But thank goodness there were land-owners to cut up the tree blocking the road or police would never have got through. It doesn't bear thinking about what might have happened."
Sheridan is so lucky to be alive. It could have been so much worse. Her car was stuck in the tree, it was a really bad crash.
Following the crash near to the village of Little Sampford on the outskirts of Saffron Walden, Essex, on Saturday police visited her the same evening – then again the following morning.
A group were seen leaving her picturesque £1.5m country pile yesterday – thought to have included her now estranged fiance Jamie Horn , 32, who briefly visited the property.
It is not believed Sheridan was breathalysed after the smash, which was being treated as an accident. An Essex Police spokesman said no further action would be taken.
The smash took place just 90 minutes before the airing of the Jonathan Ross Show, which was recorded on Wednesday evening in London.
Last week The Sun told how Sheridan had erupted in fury backstage – accusing the programme of "misogyny" and threatening to sack her team.
Cilla actress Sheridan sparked a major bust-up after the show, where she was the only female guest alongside Gary Barlow , Jeremy Clarkson , Riz Ahmed and Stephen Merchant . She furiously raged at production staff and her own team, prompting an intervention from show host Jonathan.
‘Beside herself with rage’
A TV source said: "She was absolutely beside herself with rage – threatening to sack her management team, raging about misogyny, complaining that there were no other female guests on the show and just generally kicking off.
"There was nothing subtle about it, it became very apparent to everyone in the area including Jonathan that she was unhappy. He tried to diffuse the situation."
And viewers who watched the show raised eyebrows and commented online about her unusual behaviour on screen – including repeatedly "grabbing" Take That singer Gary who was sat alongside her before they performed together."
Jonathan's agent later told The Sun: "Sheridan seemed to have a great time on the show, but appeared to become upset afterwards.
"Jonathan asked her if she was okay and she said 'Don't worry, it's not you', so Jonathan assumed it was a personal matter between Sheridan and the group of people she'd come with.
"We will investigate this immediately. I hope Sheridan knows that we would never take a claim of this kind lightly."
Sheridan seemed to have a great time on the show, but appeared to become upset afterwards.
Jonathan Ross’s agent
And an ITV spokeswoman added: "When booking the show, we are always keen to ensure we are diverse and inclusive to all.
“We treat our guests with courtesy and respect at all times."
Last night representatives for the star referred queries to Sheridan's lawyer, who did not return requests for comment.
Highs & lows of a television favourite
FAN favourite Sheridan Smith has hit the heights of a Bafta and enjoyed a string of TV hits.
Sheridan bagged a Bafta playing Mrs Biggs in 2013 before her Bafta-nominated portrayal of Cilla Black in ITV's Cilla cemented her place in the nation's hearts.
The stage performer and singer has also won two Olivier Awards. Despite her career highs, she has confessed to battling demons — describing herself as a "broken sparrow".
Signs of Sheridan's battle with mental illness first emerged in 2016 following news of late dad Colin's cancer diagnosis. She pulled out of a number of performances of West End musical Funny Girl and later broke down in tears during a comeback concert.
Two days later, she flashed her underwear and cheekily gave out her hotel room number entertaining an Edinburgh crowd. In 2018, she worried pals by going on a 20-hour booze bender following a row with former fiancé Jamie Horn.
In 2019, she admitted she was "drunk and emotional" when she accused her partner's mother of killing one of her dogs. She announced she had quit alcohol that year.
Last year, she spoke of almost dying during a string of seizures after going cold turkey on anti-anxiety medication. She said a joke about her gagging for a drink by Graham Norton at the Baftas sent her "off the deep end".
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