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Wayward ute smashes into antique store

An early morning crash has left a Carterton antique store in pieces, and the owners “pretty devastated”.

A ute carrying two people left State Highway 2, clipped a power pole, and crashed into the side of Owl’s Attic at 7.20am yesterday.

Emergency services that responded to the crash said the occupants were lucky to escape without injury.

Owl’s Attic owners Kirsten Ryan and Paul Bainbridge, who live at the back of the store, said they were alerted to the crash by an “almighty bang”.

“And a ute was in the shop”.

Both trained nurses, the pair rushed outside, checked on the ute’s occupants and called 111.

“They were fine, but just shaken. They had been out hunting and had fallen asleep driving home.

“The police tested them for drinking, and they were fine.” She said the building had suffered significant damage in the crash, and would, at the very least, require a replacement wall.

However, Ryan said it was the destruction of the specially curated antiques that was the biggest blow.

“We had a table of beautiful vases in the front window, they all went west.

“It takes a long time to find these things. We hunt them out at auctions. It’s all personally bought and cleaned up by us.

“We are pretty devastated.”

However, the crash was not the first curveball they had faced.

Owl’s Attic, which describes itself as “a collection of handpicked vintage and retro treasures”, opened in Carterton about 15 months ago.

The first half-year was spent “setting up”, and everything was primed to open when the second big lockdown hit in 2021.

Ryan said fortunately, it had been relatively smooth sailing since.

She said the goal would be to reopen as soon as possible, and many in the community had offered their support in the wake of the crash.

“We have just hit the high season, so we want to make the most it.

“We’ve had a lot of people offering to come down and help clean up, it’s been really good, we’ve had a lot of messages of support.”

Carterton Fire Brigade officer Bryan Styles said the vehicle’s occupants were “extremely lucky”.

“They were wearing seatbelts, and the airbags worked.”

Officer in charge at the scene Wayne Robinson said both the ute and store were seriously damaged in the crash.

“It wasn’t a good sight. It [the ute] has gone a fair way in.

“There is a significant amount of damage to their stock, a lot of breakages.”

Mary Argue
Mary Argue
Mary Argue is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with an interest in justice and the region’s emergency services, regularly covering Masterton District Court, Fire and Emergency and Police.

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