Woman propelled into shop window in car crash

By John Cousins of the Bay of Plenty Times -
The Bicycle Business after a car ran through its fromt window, hitting a customer. Photo / APN
The Bicycle Business after a car ran through its fromt window, hitting a customer. Photo / APN

A Tauranga woman is lucky to be alive after being hit by a car that propelled her and a bike rack through a reinforced plate glass window and five metres into a Gate Pa cycle shop.

Mariee Mischewski was watching how to attach a basket to the front of a bike on a footpath rack when she was hit by the out-of-control vehicle yesterday morning.

It missed her husband Kevin Dowdle and the owner of Bicycle Business Steve Bourne by less than half a metre.

The car hit with so much force that although the laminated glass did not shatter, it took out the entire window.

Ms Mischewski is in Tauranga Hospital with two fractured ankles and a gash to the head that needed five stitches.

"She was lucky to escape with her life," Mr Dowdle said.

He said it was over in flash. Her remembered hearing a car under hard acceleration, a huge crash and then the sight of his wife, screaming out his name, in a sitting position with her legs under the bumper, the shattered plate glass and window frame on top of her.

Four or five men lifted up the glass and frame while others dragged her out and lay her on the shop floor until the ambulance arrived.

Mr Dowdle said it would have been a different result if she had gone under the wheel and not the centre of the car.

Ms Mischewski's brother Ross was in neighbouring Mega Mitre 10 and chatting to a woman when she mentioned the accident.

He immediately went across because he is one of the property managers for JWL, the company which owns the building.

He saw a woman, her face covered in blood, lying on the St John stretcher and thought 'that poor woman'. A moment later his brother-in-law appeared and said, "Ross, that's Mariee".

The accident was witnessed by salesman Liam Knight from inside the shop. "I was moving back as it [the car] was coming in - it wasn't going slow. I'm grateful I was looking in the right direction."

Mr Knight said he and other witnesses could not understand how the vehicle managed to crash into the window. A little earlier it was seen coming from the nearby roundabout, so it was not a case of the driver getting the accelerator and brake mixed up leaving a carpark.

Mr Bourne estimated the total damage and repairs at about $20,000.

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