Man dodges serious injury after car slams into bakery

Westown Bakery manager Steven Lorth rests on the freezer that was pushed across the room after a car smashed through the ...
SAM SCANNELL

Westown Bakery manager Steven Lorth rests on the freezer that was pushed across the room after a car smashed through the wall of the premises, narrowly missing him as he worked.

A bakery manager just dodged serious injury after a car rammed into the side of the building minutes after it opened for business.

Steven Lorth was standing next to the deep fryer in New Plymouth's Westown bakery about 6.20am on Sunday when he heard a loud bang.

He first thought a power box had blown, but the distinctive rumbling of a car engine told him otherwise, giving him just seconds to get out of the way.

The car, driven by a teenager, slammed into the side of the building.
SUPPLIED

The car, driven by a teenager, slammed into the side of the building.

"It [the car] basically just came through the shop. I was standing right next to the fryer," he said.

The car, driven by a teenager, slammed into the side of the building, pushing the freezer halfway across the room and causing the oil in the deep fryer to go flying.

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Steven Lorth took photos of the  car after the crash.
SUPPLIED

Steven Lorth took photos of the car after the crash.

 

Lorth, who arrived at the bakery about 6am, said it all happened in a "split second".

"It was so fast."

Lorth escaped with minor leg injuries.
Deena Coster

Lorth escaped with minor leg injuries.

Although Lorth had time to get out of the car's direct path, his right leg was injured in the crash, leaving cuts and abrasions on his knee.  

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The 31-year-old said he felt "really lucky" as he could have been seriously hurt.

Lorth said he saw the young driver get out of the car and talk with police officers, who arrived at the scene shortly after the crash.

Workers patch up the side of the bakery with plywood.
Deena Coster

Workers patch up the side of the bakery with plywood.

"He was a bit intoxicated I think," he said of the driver.

Lorth was also assessed by ambulance staff.

Evidence of the high-speed crash was visible on Sunday morning, as workers patched up the outside of the bakery with sheets of plywood.

A tree had been snapped off and was lying on the footpath, and an intersection road sign had also been knocked to the ground.  A park bench, usually bolted to the concrete, had also come loose.

A vehicle parked outside the bakery was also left with minor damage as a result of the crash.

Lorth said builders were expected at the bakery on Monday to assess the damage and discuss a plan to repair it. 

But it was business as usual on Sunday morning at the suburban bakery, although the deep fryer was out of action until the full extent of the damage could be assessed, he said.

In the six years he had run the Westown bakery, nothing like this had ever happened. 

Sergeant Ross Wright said a 17-year-old man was detained by police and transported to the New Plymouth police station. The teen was breath-tested and returned a failed result.

Wright said the teen will be charged and will appear in court in due course.

 - Stuff

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