2:05pm Thursday 3rd January 2013
By Chris Hewett
A teenage girl "could have been killed” when a car crashed into a shop front in High Barnet early this afternoon.
Witnesses say a green Nissan Micra narrowly missed the young girl when it smashed into the entrance of discount store Coopers of Barnet, in Mays Lane, at about 12.15pm.
The female driver, believed to be in her 60s, escaped unhurt, but the car hit a gas pipe, forcing emergency engineers from National Grid to cut the supply.
The shocked teenager, believed to be aged 15, had been on her bicycle outside the shop when the car sped towards her.
She managed to jump out of the way before her bicycle was crushed, but was so shaken by the near miss that she ran through the store's entrance and to the back of the shop to safety.
Store owner James Rayani was called to the premises moments after the crash happened.
He said: “She really had a narrow escape. It could have been far worse – she could have been killed.
“When my manager phoned me I was thinking the worst. Our cash register is very close to the entrance and I was so worried the girl on the till could have been hurt. If the car had come through any further she would have been – we were very lucky.”
Staff came out to find the driver shaken but otherwise unhurt. She was later taken to hospital to be treated for shock.
Firefighters, paramedics, police and National Grid engineers were all called to the incident, which Mr Rayani believes has caused up to £6,000 worth of damage to his shop.
The store remains partially open this afternoon but will not fully reopen until the car is removed later today.
Mr Rayani said: “My shop front is damaged, the door is damaged, the glass is smashed. The car does not look good either.
“It is terrible. I really was thinking the worst but the main thing is that
no-one is hurt.”
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