Huntly's Westpac bank and a nearby dairy were forced to close their doors early yesterday after a car crashed through their front windows.
A man using an ATM narrowly escaped being struck by the car as its 80-year-old driver accidentally reversed into the bank before accelerating into the Huntly Food Market across the road about 3.45pm.
Witness Suzanne Worters said she saw smoke coming from the car as it was lodged in the dairy window.
"We were worried the car was going to catch fire so we got the man's legs out and just waited with him," she said.
"Thank God there wasn't another car coming the other way."
Huntly Food Market owner Ghulam Chaudhry said it was lucky no one was in the area of his store, which sustained the most damage.
"It's done a lot of damage. My stock was thrown around like toys."
Other witnesses reported a deafening bang on impact.
The driver, a Huntly man, was discharged from hospital two weeks ago and was still wearing a hospital wrist band at the time of the crash. He suffered minor injuries and was taken by ambulance for medical assistance.
Both the bank and food store hope to be back in business soon.
- Waikato Times