Two taken to hospital after SUV crashes through St. John’s barbershop

It’s the second time this year Fogtown has been struck by a vehicle, but this is by far the most damage the popular spot has endured. (Darrell Roberts/CBC)

An SUV smashed through the front of Fogtown Barber in downtown St. John’s just after noon on Sunday, landing inside the shop and causing extensive damage.

Fogtown Barber co-owner Chris Evans told CBC News no one was inside the shop, which is closed on Sundays, at the time of the crash, and no one was on the sidewalk outside. He said it’s a miracle no one was inside.

“There’s a lot of devastation,” he said. “I could have been killed. I stand in front of that window most days, all day. So it looks like the shop is destroyed, but, you know, I’m alive. My staff are all alive.”

A Royal Newfoundland Constabulary spokesperson confirmed that the two occupants of the vehicle were taken to hospital.

A large blue tow truck perpendicular on the street carrying a white SUV in front of a heavily damaged store front.
A white SUV was towed shortly before 1:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon after it crashed into Fogtown Barber. (Darrell Roberts/CBC)

Ethan Pardy, who works at Terre Cafe across the street, told CBC News the vehicle came up from Harbour Drive through the nearby intersection, smashed into a car stopped in front of the shop on Water Street, and went through the front of the shop.

“It was like a loud pop. You could hear the glass panes, the wood snapping, and definitely like the sound of everything in the shop being pushed and destroyed,” Pardy said. “Honestly, [it] was a terrifying crash. It silenced everyone in the room we were standing in.”

Pardy said the driver of the vehicle didn’t appear to slow down or attempt to stop before it crashed.

Pardy said he immediately called 911.

“The fire truck showed up first within five minutes, the police showed up around seven to 10 minutes later and the ambulance showed up around 10 to 12 minutes after that,” he said.

‘Surreal’ scene

There was a heavy first responder presence at the scene of the accident for hours after the crash, and a section of Water Street was temporarily closed. A crowd watched as the SUV was towed out of the building.

Newfoundland Power cut electricity to the building, and upstairs occupants were told to stay out until the structure undergoes inspection.

Evans called the scene “surreal.”

Another SUV crashed into Fogtown Barber in January, forcing the shop to undergo renovations. The crash on Sunday afternoon did far worse damage.

Evans said he was alerted by an employee working in the Side Shop, located in the same building but up a floor. He said the scene was “surreal.”

“I honestly thought he was joking because we were in a similar situation just six months ago,” he said.

“We’re just sort of scratching our heads and how it happened again.”

He said staff are already looking for a temporary location for the barbershop, and he hopes it’ll be open within days.

“We don’t plan on, you know, taking a summer vacation or anything.”

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