A GARAGE owner had a lucky escape when a pickup truck smashed into the building.
The vehicle came off the road and ploughed into Gauxholme Services’ reception area, on Rochdale Road, leaving it structurally unsafe and needing to be pulled down.
Fortunately there was nobody in the garage at the time of the crash, which occurred on Monday January 31 at 9.15pm.
Owner David MacDonald, who runs the firm with his wife Susan, said it was a big shock to arrive at the garage to find the alarm going off and four police cars surrounding the premises.
“It could have been worse,” he said.
“If we were in there at the time, it could have been very serious.
“The council came to inspect the reception area and found it was in danger of collapsing into the road.
“I couldn’t work for a couple of days until they got it sorted out.
“They wouldn’t let me go back inside the building because it wasn’t safe.
“There was no damage to the main garage but if it had hit the main building the damage would have stopped us from working for longer.”
A building inspector condemned the reception area as unsafe and a danger to the public.
It was demolished the following day.
“It’s difficult without a reception area,” David said.
“A lot of customers don’t know where to come because there’s no front to the garage.”
Despite the disruption, the garage is open as usual.
David thanked customers for their best wishes and messages of support.
“The amazing thing was that through modern technology people knew about it very soon after and were ringing to check we were okay,” he said.
“We would like to thank our customers and clients for their best wishes.”
David and Susan have owned the garage for 35 years, servicing and repairing vehicles for customers in Todmorden and as far away as London and Scotland.
It is the second time that the garage has been damaged by a motor vehicle.
In the late 1990s, a vehicle hit a car which was parked at the side of the road and pushed it into the building, demolishing one of the walls in the process.
Nobody was injured.