ZB

'You don't expect a car coming through the door': Woman hit by car in shop grateful to helpers

Author
David Beck, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 28 Jan 2022, 3:58pm
A car crashed through the front of a shop in Taupō. (Photo / NZME)
A car crashed through the front of a shop in Taupō. (Photo / NZME)

'You don't expect a car coming through the door': Woman hit by car in shop grateful to helpers

Author
David Beck, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 28 Jan 2022, 3:58pm

Tuesday, January 11 is a day Sue Watkins will not forget in a hurry. 

The Hutt Valley local, who owns a house in Taupō, was browsing shoes at Merchant 1948 Footwear on Te Heuheu St when a car crashed through the front of the store, pinning her against some shelving. 

"I'd just sort of gone in there to look for a pair of shoes I've wanted for a while," Sue says. 

"The assistant came and asked if I needed any help but I told her I was fine. She went back to the counter which, very fortunately, is at the side of the shop. 

"I was looking at the shoes on the back wall and I heard a car revving quite loudly. I thought 'oh what's that?'. I turned around and saw the car come smashing through the shop. 

"Apparently the driver had put her foot on the accelerator instead of the brake and crashed right into the back wall of the shop." 

Sue was knocked from her feet and ended up trapped between the car and some shelving. 

"It was very shocking. It didn't really register at first - you don't expect to see a car coming through the door. It didn't really click what was happening until the car hit me. 

"I just went straight down onto the floor and got stuck, my arms were hanging over the display and the car was in the back wall." 

A number of people, staff at the store and from neighbouring stores, shoppers and emergency service personnel were able to help Sue out of her predicament and she is eager to express her gratitude to them. 

"They were wonderful. The man from Argus Fire Systems who was the ex-ambulance driver, I am sorry I didn't get his name, who talked to me all the time to stop me from going into shock, Lauren who kept reassuring me, the lady who rang my husband, all the shopkeepers who came to help, and especially all the ambulance, fire, police, nurses and the doctor at the hospital. 

"They took me into the ambulance and up to the hospital. I am very lucky that I only ended up with a few cuts and bruises as it could have been a lot worse." 

The experience has not put Sue and her husband off future trips to Taupō. 

"The shop sent me a beautiful bunch of flowers afterward. That was really nice and I want to thank them too."