Shop owner left devastated after freak car accident
A '˜devastated' shop owner said she has lost everything after a freak car accident.
Debbie Bannister said the majority of stock at her antique and retro furniture store was destroyed when a car ploughed into D&D Emporium in Anchorsholme.
The car is believed to have been parked in a bay outside the shabby chic store, in Eastpines Drive, when its driver, a man in his 60s, accidentally reversed.
His silver Vauxhall Astra slammed through the shop front, sending bricks and glass flying, before coming to a stop six-feet deep inside.
Debbie, who moved into the street around two-and-a-half years ago from Cleveleys, said: “There’s very little to be salvaged from it.
“My livelihood has gone. I have no income and no stock to sell. I don’t know what to do now.”
The crash saw emergency services called out at around 6.05pm on Monday, Lancashire Police said, as passers-by took pictures of the devastation.
Firefighters were scrambled to ensure the building was safe, and it was later confirmed to be structurally sound by an officer, a service spokesman said.
Nobody was hurt, including the car’s driver, who was not arrested but may face further questioning, police added yesterday. It is thought his car had an automatic gearbox.
Debbie said she got a phone call telling her what happened, and arrived at her shop in a state of shock.
“I had just refurbished it,” she added. “I was shut for two-and-a-half weeks and had just reopened a month ago.
“Everything was handmade so I can’t go and replace it. I have to find the right piece of furniture and each piece is a lot of work.
“There’s a lot of unique pieces and antiques smashed to smithereens – everything in the front of the shop was concertinaed to the back.”
Julie Morgan, who witnessed the crash’s aftermath, said: “The man was shaking like a leaf. It was a terrible accident and I feel for both the owner of the [shop] and the driver.”
And Martin Smith said his brother-in-law went to help the driver, who he said ‘just froze up’ in shock.
Debbie, who also sells hand-crafted clothing, said she was waiting for a loss assessor to come out yesterday, and said she couldn’t say what the overall cost of the damage was, with new oak flooring also spoiled in the smash.
But she said stock in the shop was worth a total of around £50,000 and had ‘taken years to build up’.
She added: “I have a Saturday girl; obviously she is out of work as well at the minute.
“I’m just thankful nobody has been hurt – that’s the saving grace.”
In a Facebook post yesterday morning, Debbie told her customers she will be closed ‘until further notice’.
She added: “It’s taken nearly five years of hard work, love, and belief for my business to get to the stage it was at. And having just undergone a massive refurbishment to get it up to the next level, [Monday] night’s accident has devastated me.”
Debbie said she has received supportive messages from customers, friends, and family members since the accident, and added: “By some miracle nobody was injured, given the time of the accident and how many people were around.”
Customer Emma Tierney described D&D Emporium as a ‘fantastic little shop’, and said Debbie is ‘so lovely’.