A DEVASTATED shop owner said today she is thankful no one was killed when a car ploughed into her premises.
The white BMW smashed through the metal rails and into Above Expectations, in Windsor Terrace, Grangetown.
Nicole Stuwe, 43, who opened the beauty salon in 2004, said she was stunned when she got a call in the early hours of yesterday from the owner of a neighbouring shop to tell her what had happened.
The mum-of-one, from Pallion, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw the damage. I am devastated, but I am also just relieved no one was killed. It was around 11pm on Saturday when it happened and there are a lot of people about at that time, coming home from a night out. Someone could have easily died.”
Nicole’s husband, Andrew Barker, 44, said when they were called to say a car had hit the front of the shop, he thought it would be just a case of broken shutters.
However, the car had torn right through the metal shutters, smashed down the double- glazed front and was halfway inside the shop.
He said: “It has come straight down Queen Alexandra Road and across into the shop. I don’t know how fast it was going, but some people were saying it must have been about 80mph.”
Nicole, who has several other self-employed beauticians working from the two-storey premises, said she doesn’t know how long the shop will have to be closed while structural surveys and repair work is carried out.
She said: “It is hard enough keeping going in a recession, so this is the last thing we need. But I am determined and we will carry on.”
Nicole hopes to be able to use the side door to the premises as an access for customers, so they can at least use the upstairs rooms.
A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said a 35-year-old has been arrested in connection with the incident and has been released on bail pending further inquiries.