Great brake mistake breaks bakery
Wednesday’s lunch rush in Lansdowne was more than a couple of First St retailers bargained for.
A vehicle smashed through the front of Lansdowne Sammies just before 1pm, and narrowly missed one of the owners.
The elderly woman driving the red VW hatchback had a “mishap” when she mistakenly pressed the accelerator instead of the brake.
Chheng Hong was rearranging sandwiches in the refrigerator cabinet in the middle of her store just moments before the crash.
She walked towards the back of the shop to the counter to sign paperwork for a deliveryman when the car ploughed through the window, propelling plastic tables and chairs across the room.
“It was very loud, I thought it was an earthquake or tsunami.”
Ms Hong’s husband, Sang Say, said the car just missed his wife and it was lucky no one was hurt.
It had been the heavy food cabinets, weighing hundreds of kilograms, that had stopped the vehicle from heaving further into the shop, he said.
Mr Say had been cleaning out the back of the store when he heard the commotion.
“I heard a really loud noise, like shelves falling over . . . I wasn’t sure what it was.
“She was scared and ran behind the counter, I was shaking.”
The couple opened the shop seven months ago, and have been steadily doing it up.
The driver’s car insurance would cover the damage to the store.
Masterton fire station officer Kevin Smith said the driver “shot through the front window”.
“No one was injured, and she was okay, just a little bit shaken.”
Acting Sergeant Andrew Stringer said the woman, a Masterton resident, had driven into the car park outside the bakery, which was next to Kingsmeade cheeses and Basil’s fish and chip shop.
“A witness said she stopped, hit the accelerator, launched up the footpath and through the window and ended up with most of the car in the shop.”
Mr Stringer said the driver was wearing her seatbelt.
Senior Constable Steve Forster said everyone involved was “bloody lucky – it could’ve been a lot nastier”.