Stunned witnesses said it was a miracle a young woman was not killed after a police car pulled into a Lisburn shop on Wednesday morning, narrowly dodging the customer.
The shocking clash happened just after 11.35am on Longstone Street.
Three PSNI vehicles reportedly responded to an emergency call at the time.
One swerved to avoid hitting another car being driven by a member of the public who appeared to be indicating it was to pull into the parking lot of a local Spar store.
The police car then drove through the front door of the Spar store and also drove through flower displays and a bollard set up outside the store’s premises.
CCTV footage shows a relieved young woman who had just entered the building shortly before the incident.
Many bystanders and nearby business owners said the woman was lucky to swerve out of the car just in time as boxes of goods tumbled around her.
She is believed to be a volunteer from an organization close by, who told the Belfast Telegraph: “The incident has been brought to our attention and we are very glad no one was injured.
“We offer our voluntary support following the incident.”
Nobody else was seriously injured.
Additional CCTV footage, captured from the Titanic Vapor e-cigarette shop across the street, shows the moment the police vehicle swerved and crashed into the building from the outside.
“It was really scary — we’ve seen a lot of accidents out there, but this is the worst,” said one of the staff.
“I still don’t feel well, but it’s good that the girl wasn’t hurt – that’s the main thing and we’re thinking of her at the moment.”
In a statement, a Spar spokesman said: “In response to the incident, all employees and shoppers were safely evacuated from the store via an emergency exit.
“The shop reopened today after a brief closure.”
The store reopened around 3 p.m.
Anne Troughton, who works at the Cards and Gifts shop opposite the Spar, said: “It’s a miracle nobody was killed”.
“It really is an absolute miracle. This store never stops, day or night. It is always a lot going on. I just can’t believe it,” she continued.
“Elderly people are outside, they usually have dogs tied up, and there are always people going in or walking past.
“Police cars are always flying down this street at horrible speeds.
“When you hear the alarms, it can be confusing.”
Another woman, who works at a nearby coffee shop, said she did not see the crash but heard it.
She initially thought it was a bomb and made her “nauseous”.
She added that it was “lucky” that the crash didn’t happen across the street as many of the shops there had customers near the front windows, and “someone could definitely have been seriously injured.”
A bystander said the police officer driving the vehicle looked distressed as he got out of the car.
Police also imposed several penalties on motorists who passed the scene yesterday and attempted to film the aftermath of the accident on their mobile phones while driving.
Police are asking witnesses to come forward.
A PSNI spokesman later confirmed that “just after 11.35am yesterday…a police vehicle was involved in a road traffic accident on Longstone Street, Lisburn”.
“The driver of the police vehicle was responding to an emergency when he had to swerve to avoid a collision with a vehicle being driven by a member of the public,” the spokesman said.
“Damage was caused to business premises but fortunately no injuries were reported at this time.”
The PSNI also appealed to anyone who witnessed the collision, or who may have recorded it with a dashcam, to contact them on 101.
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/its-a-miracle-she-wasnt-killed-stunned-witnesses-say-after-police-car-crashes-into-lisburn-shop-narrowly-missing-customer-42007761.html ‘It’s a miracle she wasn’t killed’: Stunned witnesses say after police car crashes into Lisburn shop narrowly missing customer