IT’S been a month since a runaway car smashed into Déjà Vu hair salon in Auburn Street, but owner John Vu and staff say they’re still “living a nightmare.”
Their salon remains boarded up since the February 22 Goulburn retail shopping precinct incident that destroyed the interior and caused tens of thousands of dollars damage. Miraculously, several staff members and clients - including a young baby - escaped serious injury as the Toyota Corolla with its elderly driver careered across the footpath and deep into the hair salon.
Mr Vu says insurance company tardiness in assessing the damage before making any pay-out means he won't be able to reopen his business anytime soon. Meantime, the staff remains out of work, Mr Vu is without an income, and former clients needing hair appointments have no option but to make appoints elsewhere.
A hefty price, Mr Vu says, for just a “normal” Wednesday afternoon at work. Normal, that is, until the car brought down mayhem - and a lot more - around the salon’s occupants.
“The damage to the shop is just extreme,” he says.
“There are no words to describe, and right now there’s no dollar figure we can put on it. But it’s going to be well into the tens of thousands.
“The shop front obviously is largely damaged, the whole back wall will need to be replaced, the mirrors, basins and the equipment inside – the real scope of the cost just hasn’t hit us yet.”
Mr Vu says the insurance company is taking longer than expected to fulfil its obligations, and consequently there is no scheduled reopening date. The business is therefore “in limbo.”
Mr Vu’s nightmare began at the height of the busy lunch time shopping period, on February 22, when the driver of the blue Toyota mistakenly accelerated forward instead of braking.
“Everyone was so lucky to escape with just bumps, bruises and broken bones,” Mr Vu says.
“You just have to look at the impact on the shop to realise.
“When it happened I can mainly remember the noise. It was so loud from the glass shattering, then I just saw this car drive through the salon.
“It was terrifying and traumatic. Obviously we had no warning, and weren’t prepared because who thinks these things can happen to you?”
Goulburn Police confirmed the driver of the vehicle was issued with an infringement notice for negligent driving.