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Out of pocket due to ‘stupid’ driver

Business owner Sandra Brooker outside her Carterton clothing and jewellery store, Boho Soul. PHOTOS/KAREN COLTMAN

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Sandra Brooker woke at 2.30am last Saturday to a loud bang caused by a ute smashing into the front verandah of her Carterton shop, Boho Soul, where she also lives.

“It was a horrendous noise,” the 70-year-old said. “I got a heck of a fright. I looked out the window and saw a blue ute had smashed through two verandah posts and on into a power pole. All the neighbours came
running out.”

Brooker dialled 111 but didn’t go outside because powerlines were dangling across the house. She said both occupants walked out of the vehicle. They were uninjured.

Police confirmed the male driver fell asleep while driving a blue Ford Ranger from Wellington.

While asleep he crossed the centre line, went up on to the footpath in Carterton south, hit shop verandah posts and went on to collide with a power pole.

The trailer it was towing had three washing machines on it that were strewn down the driveway outside Brooker’s bedroom.

Powerco putting in a new power pole at 201 High Street, Carterton, last Saturday.

Around 25 surrounding properties had no power for the morning. Powerco put in a new power pole and new lines by midday.

Police Senior Sergeant Jennifer Hansen confirmed that neither alcohol nor speed were a factor in the crash. No charges have been laid at this point, she said.

The footpath is shut off to the public with hazard tape and orange bollards. For Boho Soul having no foot traffic or parking outside the shop has meant virtually a complete loss of trade over the week.

Brooker makes and sells jewellery she has on display in the front window and sells women’s new and recycled designer fashion.

At the corner by the shop entrance, the verandah is starting to pull away from the shop front. The posts holding up the verandah were erected by Pope & Gray Contractors as a temporary measure to stop it collapsing.

“So far I am down many hundreds of dollars and I am going to struggle to pay the rent,” Brooker said. “The landlord is good, but he is waiting for the insurance assessment. It could be months before the verandah is fixed or removed and my foot traffic and window shoppers come back.

“No one has been in touch with me so I will go to the police and find out what is going on and to make a statement.

“It has been a shock and hard to get on with the shop. I am losing trade and of course the front window can’t be seen by anyone.

“We were told the driver drove down from Wellington on Friday and was aiming to make it back to Auckland on the same day. It’s very concerning to me that a driver would be that stupid.

“I’m surprised no charges have been laid for that dangerous driving. Someone could’ve been hurt.”

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