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A Holden Commodore reversed into the front of Grafton Lifeline on December 9, thankfully no injuries occurred. Image: Emma Pritchard.

Car reverses into local op shop in Grafton

Emma Pritchard |


It could have been so much worse.

Prince Street shoppers and retail workers were lucky to avoid injury when a Holden Commodore reversed into the front of Grafton Lifeline on December 9.

The two occupants of the vehicle, the 82-year-old driver and his elderly companion, were shaken but uninjured following the incident.

They were assisted from the vehicle and attended to by staff from nearby shops who provided the men with chairs while emergency services were called.

Coffs/Clarence Police District, Chief Inspector Joanne Reid said the driver inadvertently hit the accelerator which caused the vehicle to mount the kerb and crash through the front of the local charity shop.

Fortunately, none of the Grafton Lifeline volunteers or customers were near the front of the shop.

Chief Insp Reid said it was only a slice of luck that there were no serious injuries, or worse, a fatality.

“Unfortunately, these types of accidents happen more frequently than one would realise and it is a stark reminder of the dangers of losing concentration behind the wheel of a car during the simple act of parking,” she said.

“Motorists need to remain focused at all times and exercise the utmost care and attention.

“The accident could have been devastating when you consider the amount of people walking along the main street in the middle of the day.”

Local resident Kerry Willow said she was approaching Grafton Lifeline from the Pound Street intersection nearby shortly after 1pm when she saw a sudden movement and heard an almighty crash.

Mrs Willow had been planning to visit the op shop and said she was startled to see a car had slammed through the front doors.

“I just couldn’t believe it, it was such an awful sight,” she said.

“At first I thought someone had been badly injured when I saw what had happened.

“I was just pleased to see the two people in the car get out safely because it could have been so much worse.”

Chief Insp Reid said the male driver returned a negative breath test.

It is currently unknown when Grafton Lifeline will reopen.

Workmen quickly tidied the scene and secured Grafton Lifeline, although it is not known when the local op shop will reopen. Image: Emma Pritchard.