Shocking video | 

Stunned witnesses say ‘miracle customer wasn’t killed’ after PSNI car crashes into shop

Shocking CCTV captures moment customer just feet away from being struck by police vehicle in Lisburn

Woman has lucky escape after PSNI car crashes into shopfront

Niamh CampbellBelfast Telegraph

Stunned witnesses have said it was a miracle a young woman wasn’t killed after a police car crashed into a Lisburn shop on Wednesday morning, narrowly avoiding the customer.

The shocking collision happened shortly after 11.35am on Longstone Street.

Three PSNI vehicles were reportedly responding to an emergency call at the time..

One swerved to avoid hitting another car driven by a member of the public which appeared to be indicating to go into the car park of a local Spar store.

The police car crashed through the front door of the Spar shop as a result, also driving through flower displays and a bollard placed outside the premises.

CCTV footage shows a relieved young woman who had just walked into the building just moments before the incident.

Many onlookers and nearby business owners have said the woman was lucky to get out of the way of the car just in time, as boxes of stock tumbled round her.

She is understood to be a volunteer of an organisation nearby, which told the Belfast Telegraph: “We’ve been made aware of the incident and we’re very glad that no one was harmed.

"We’re offering our volunteer support following the incident.”

No one else was seriously injured.

More CCTV footage taken by the Titanic Vapour 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 that's the worst,” said one of its staff members.

"I still don't feel right, but it's good the girl wasn't hurt — that's the main thing and we're thinking of her at the minute.”

In a statement, a Spar spokesperson said: “Responding to the incident, all staff and shoppers were safely vacated from the store via an emergency exit.

"The store has now reopened after a brief closure earlier today.”

The store reopened at around 3pm.

The car is removed from the scene (Kevin Scott)© Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Anne Troughton, who works at the Cards and Gifts shop across the road from the Spar, said “it’s a wonder no one was killed”.

“It really is an absolute miracle. That shop never stops, day and night. It’s always busy. I just can’t take it in,” she continued.

"You've elderly people standing out there, you usually have dogs tied up and there’s always people walking into it or walking past it.

“Police cars are always flying out that road at terrible speeds.

"When you hear the alarms it can be disorientating.”

Another woman who works in a nearby café said that she didn’t see the crash, but heard it.

She initially thought it was a bomb and made her “feel sick”.

She added that it was “lucky” the collision didn’t occur on the opposite side of the road, as many of the businesses there had customers sitting beside the front windows, and “someone definitely could have been seriously hurt”.

A PSNI car crashed into the shop in Lisburn. Credit: Kevin Scott

One onlooker said the policeman driving the vehicle appeared visibly distressed when he got out of the car.

Police also gave out multiple penalties to motorists passing the scene yesterday, who were trying to film the aftermath of the crash on their mobile phones while driving.

Police are appealing for witnesses to contact them.

A PSNI spokesperson later confirmed that “shortly after 11.35am yesterday … a police vehicle was involved in a road traffic collision on Longstone Street, Lisburn”.

“The driver of the police vehicle was responding to an emergency when they had to take evasive action to avoid a collision with a vehicle driven by a member of the public,” the spokesperson said.

“Damage was caused to commercial premises but thankfully no injuries have been reported at this time.”

The PSNI also appealed for anyone who witnessed the collision, or who may have captured it on dash cam, to contact them on 101.

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