Un­usual ac­ci­dent dam­ages ve­hi­cles, busi­ness

Three taken to hos­pi­tal with non-life threat­en­ing in­juries, say po­lice

The Compass - - NEWS - BY TERRY ROBERTS edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Those im­pacted by an un­usual ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dent in Bay Roberts at about mid-morn­ing on May 21 were grate­ful that no one was se­ri­ously in­jured.

Just be­fore 11 a.m., a Mal­ibu sedan trav­el­ling along the Con­cep­tion Bay High­way in the di­rec­tion of Spa­niard’s Bay went out of con­trol and crashed into a parked pickup truck at the side of J. W. Par­sons Ltd., a fur­ni­ture and ap­pli­ance store that has op­er­ated in the town for 43 years.

The im­pact pitched the rear por­tion of the heavy duty Ford pickup into the build­ing, send­ing glass, dust and ranges fly­ing through the air in­side.

The Mal­ibu was be­ing driven by a fe­male res­i­dent of Shearstown in her mid-40s. Her two chil­dren — a fe­male in her mid-teens and a young boy un­der 10 years-of-age — were also in the car.

All three were taken to hos­pi­tal, but po­lice say there were no vis­i­ble in­juries.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing, but po­lice be­lieve the loss of con­trol may have been the re­sult of a “med­i­cal event.”

The owner of the busi­ness, John Par­sons Jr., his wife Dawn and their five-year-old son Jonathan were in­side the store at the time, and were lucky to es­cape in­jury.

John said they were dis­cussing plans for Jonathan’s up­com­ing sixth birth­day when the ac­ci­dent oc­curred.

“We’re just thank­ful ev­ery­body left here breath­ing,” John stated.

Close call

The Mal­ibu left the road about 50 me­tres be­fore it fi­nally crashed into the truck. It first crossed the park­ing lot of Ser­gio’s Pizza, smashed through a lu­mi­nated road sign, nar­rowly miss­ing a util­ity pole and a larger com­mer­cial sign. It then con­tin­ued across the park­ing lot of Coun­try De­light, smashed into a fence, rolled across the front lawn of John Par­sons Sr., who started the fur­ni­ture store in 1969, and bar­relled into the pickup.

Both the Mal­ibu and the pickup sus­tained sig­nif­i­cant dam­age. A third ve­hi­cle, a Ford Ranger, was also clipped in the chaos.

The in­ci­dent will mean a loss of busi­ness and in­come for the own­ers of the fam­ily run busi­ness, but John Jr. said he will re­open as soon as pos­si­ble.

“We sur­vived the flood of (Trop­i­cal Storm) Chan­tal that cost us about $70,000 in dam­age, we’ve got­ten over break-ins, and we’re go­ing sur­vive this,” John Jr. said.

“Again, I’m just glad no one was hurt.”

John be­lieves that since the pickup ab­sorbed most of the im­pact, it may have pre­vented greater dam­age to the build­ing, and per­haps in­juries to mem­bers of his fam­ily. The solid con­struc­tion of the build­ing was also a fac­tor, he added.

“This is all very trau­ma­tiz­ing, es­pe­cially since our lives re­volve around this place right here. I hate to think how this may have played out had this hap­pened a minute ear­lier when we were walk­ing out­side here.”

Pho­tos by Terry Roberts/the Com­pass

The af­ter­math of an un­usual ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dent at J. W. Par­sons Ltd, in Bay Roberts on Tues­day, May 21.

(left) This photo il­lus­trates the path the Mal­ibu took be­fore im­pact­ing the Ford pickup, pro­pel­ling it into the side of the build­ing.

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