Shop owner ‘thought car smash was an earthquake’

The car smashed into the front of Gayatri Stores.
The car smashed into the front of Gayatri Stores.

A shop owner has described the moment a car crashed through his front window in the Wednesday morning rush hour, saying he thought there was an “earthquake”.

Kiran Patel, who runs Gayatri Store on Leeds Old Road in Heckmondwike, said he and his wife Hasumati had been left shocked by the incident.

The accident happened just after 8.30am when a blue Audi A4 smashed into the shop before spinning off and hitting a caravan in a garden on White Lee Road.

The driver was uninjured and no-one else was hurt.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said:”Police received a call from a shop on Leeds Old Road to report that a car had collided with the front of the shop and come to a rest on White Lee Road where it collided with a caravan.

“The driver of the car appears to be uninjured. There are no reports of any other injuries.” It is not clear as yet what caused the crash.

Mr Patel, who has run the shop for 25 years, said: “I was coming down the stairs and I heard a big bang and then there was some shaking.

“I thought there’d been an earthquake. I came down and saw the car in the window and then it went across to the other side of the road where it hit a caravan. My wife was in the kitchen and she was left in shock.

“It was very lucky that no-one was injured because there were cars everywhere. The front of the shop’s very badly damaged and I don’t know how long it will take to repair it.

“It’s going to be bad for business because I’m diabetic and my wife’s working 24/7 at the moment. We’re only just surviving as it is.”