PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A Pinellas County business owner is hoping to bounce back after an SUV crashed into her consignment shop, leaving a trail of damage.
Luckily, a Good Samaritan managed to get the driver out of the SUV before it went up in flames.
The man, who pulled the driver from the Durango, was on his way home from work when he witnessed the crash.
He got the driver out just in time because seconds later, the flames tore through the rest of the Durango and the front of Christina Valley’s Second-Time-Around Consignment Shop.
The crash happened at around 4 a.m. Christina was home sleeping when she got an alert from her alarm company.
“I checked all my cameras, and everything looked fine. So, I went back to sleep. Then, I woke up at about 6 a.m. with lots of missed calls from the sheriff’s letting me know,” she said.
The Durango, the driver and the Good Samaritan were all gone by the time she arrived, but the damage wasn’t.
“It was a nightmare,” Christina said.
The Durango took out one of the concrete beams before crashing through the glass window and front door. The impact even took out the glass window and door on the other side of the shop.
“I had no idea it would be this bad,” Christina said. “There was someone here sending me pictures, and the pictures did not do it justice.”
Vendors like Ann Hardenbrook rent booths at Valley’s shop. The concrete beam landed right where her products were set up.
“The damage that was done: Everything completely ruined in my booth and then the store of course,” she said.
Christina said this has happened before. It didn’t stop her then, and it won’t stop her now.
With help from the community, they worked around the clock Sunday morning and afternoon to clean up and re-open the business. Christina had things up and running Monday for customers
“This shop is a strong shop,” Christina said. “It’s been around for 35 years. We’ll be fine.”
The 28-year-old driver of the Durango was taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and has been booked into the Pinellas County Jail.
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