Some hazardous working conditions are predictable — what happened at the Shoe Warehouse on Tuesday was not.
A cashier on her first hour on the job at the Shoe Warehouse in Sahali barely escaped being mowed down by a Toyota Highlander SUV when a woman in her 60s lost control of her vehicle and smashed into the store.
The lone driver was turning around in the parking lot of the Notre Dame Drive commercial centre at around 1:45 p.m. when the vehicle suddenly accelerated.
The SUV smashed into the store’s front display window and continued about 15 feet, stopping just short of running through the cashier’s counter.
The driver was uninjured but taken to hospital by ambulance nonetheless to determine whether a health-related episode led to the crash, said Fire Rescue acting battalion chief Capt. Jeff Bell.
She also avoided hitting the other staff and customers who were in the store.
But that wasn’t clear at first.
Store manager Jessica Coey had walked out of the back room and was on the store’s floor when the incident happened.
She knew a clerk was behind the till, located about 15 feet from the front window, and turned to look at the counter when she heard smashing glass. She was shocked to see a vehicle coming to a stop and the cash area empty.
“I just . . . honestly, I lost it,” said Coey.
She initially believed her brand new employee had been hit and could be under the SUV, but quickly discovered the girl had run for cover out of sight.
“I thought, ‘Damn she’s quick for a little person,’” laughed Coey.
Authorities continue to investigate the cause. Witnesses reported seeing the woman attempt to manoeuvre the vehicle.
“Somebody did see a reaction of her trying to turn, so she was cognitively there,” said Coey.
The store will be closed for repairs for an unknown amount of time, said Coey.
“Everybody’s OK. That’s all that matters.”