MORE than $15,000 worth of antiques were damaged yesterday when a woman accidentally hit the accelerator and slammed into Periwinkle Antiques in the heart of Port Fairy.
Leading Senior Constable Chris Carr, from Port Fairy police, said the woman, 77, was pulling into the angle car park on Bank Street about noon when the car quickly accelerated from the gutter across the footpath and into the shop entrance.
He said the woman had mistakenly put her foot on the accelerator instead of the brake, something he described as a common error.
“The lady was unhurt and fortunately there was no one on the footpath or in the shop,” he said.
“She was a bit shaken up but otherwise good.
“It did cause quite a bit of a scene.”
It’s estimated the total damage bill, including repairs to the shopfront could be about $20,000.
Leading Senior Constable Carr praised those who helped get the woman out of the car and everybody else who assisted at the scene.
“Everyone who could help was fantastic,” he said.
“It did take a bit of time getting the car out because part of the shop had crushed.”
Leading Senior Constable Carr said inquiries were continuing into whether police would take any action with the incident.
Periwinkle Antiques owner Vicki Lowenthal said she had thought about opening the shop given it was school holidays but was grateful she hadn’t.
“It is closed Wednesdays but I did contemplate opening it,” she said.
“Today is just not my day.”
Mrs Lowenthal said the damage bill for the uninsured stock included a $6500 bookcase, about $1000 worth of china and a new bedroom chair which was recently reupholstered.
“I was actually down the street and I got a call from my sister-in-law,” she said.
“She said I’ve got something to say but don’t get too upset, someone has driven straight through the shop window.”
Mrs Lowenthal said builders would return to the shop today and she will then know if she will need to close for an extended period of time.
“If they can fix it I might be able to open tomorrow,” she said.
Eyewitness Vaughan Hockley, from Portland, was travelling along Bank Street and was behind the car as it attempted to pull into the park outside the shop.
“The car went halfway into the park and then it kept going and went straight through the window,” Mr Hockley said.
“I had to squeeze through and there was panes of glass hanging from the ceiling.
“The lady in the car was OK so I just helped her out of the car and out of the shop.”