A customer inside Flandangles Kitchen and Gifts in Port Alberni escaped injury when a car drove through the front window and inside the store on Tuesday.
The accident happened at 2:10 p.m. at Flandangles’ Third Avenue location.
Employee Kelli Rous was working in the back of the store with another employee when she heard a loud noise in the front of the store.
“I heard this roar, then things shook in the store like there was an earthquake,” Rous said. “It sounded like a tsunami too when it moved debris forward.”
Rous and the other employee ran to the front of the store where they found a car had smashed through the window and was sitting partway inside the store. “The smell of rubber and exhaust was overwhelming,” Rous said.
The driver, an elderly man, got out of the car then sat down in a chair inside the store until paramedics arrived, tended to him then took him away to hospital. Rous didn’t know the extent of his injuries.
The man, who had been parked in front of the store, may have pressed on the gas pedal while his car was in drive instead of reverse, Rous said.
A customer who was inside the room when the car came through the window was lucky to escape injury. “The car pushed all this stock around him and he wasn’t even touched,” Rous said.