'˜I thought a bomb had gone off': Mother describes moment car crashed into newsagents

A mother-of-four who had a lucky escape after a car crashed through a newsagent's window, has described the moment of impact.

Wednesday, 9th March 2016, 8:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th March 2016, 9:46 am

Kymberley Gibson-White, 31, was with three of her children when the Ford Fiesta surged forward and crashed into the front of Swami News in Queens Square, Adeyfield, on Monday morning.

The force of the crash threw the counter and shelving across the shop, trapping Kymberley, her children and newsagent Chetna Patel on the floor.

Kymberley, of Tenzing Road, said: “I thought a bomb had gone off. One minute I was talking to the lady behind the counter then all of a sudden there was this massive ‘boom’. My first thought was, are my kids OK.”

A shocked Kymberley picked herself up and saw three-year-old son Thomas had been crushed between two shelves in his pushchair.

Daughter Jade, 10, suffered bruising to her leg and seven-year-old Richard was hit on the head by the till, leaving him with a lump.

Kymberley, who is also mum to 12-year-old Sianne, said: “That pushchair is the only reason Thomas survived. It could have been so much worse.”

Kymberley suffered whiplash as well as severe shoulder and back pain, which she is still being treated for.

Richard, who was buying a drink with his birthday money at the time of the crash, was taken to Hemel Urgent Care Centre for treatment and is now resting at home.

Kymberley, who moved to Adeyfield six months ago, said: “I keep replaying it in my head. Someone must be looking over us and I am thankful for that.”

Newsagent Chetna Patel, 59, who was behind the counter at the time of the crash was taken to hospital and treated for cuts, bruises and shock.

She is now back home and resting at the family’s flat above the shop, being cared for by her husband Sunny, also 59, as well as daughter Roopa and son Dharmesh.

The Patels say they want to thank Kymberley, who they dubbed ‘our hero’ for her quick reaction after the crash.

Daughter Roopa said: “Kymberley was amazing. We’ve watched the CCTV footage and you can see her get up, check her kids then try and get my mum out who was trapped.

“She’s our hero really. We don’t know what would have happened if she wasn’t there.”

Police officers quickly arrived on the scene followed by the fire service and paramedics.

Son Dharmesh said: “We have been so overwhelmed at people’s reactions. We’ve had people popping in to see how we are, and giving us flowers.

“We are so thankful to the local community, and we have had a lot of help from family and friends.”

It is thought the driver of the silver Ford Fiesta – a man in his 70s – suffered a ‘medical episode’, causing the car to propel forwards into the shop window.

He was taken to Watford General Hospital for further treatment but is understood to be doing well.

Dharmesh, whose parents have run the newsagents for nearly 10 years, said: “We aren’t angry at anyone because you can’t help having a medical condition, whether you are in your 70s or your 20s.

“Everyone is well and that’s the main thing.”

Swami News re-opened yesterday morning and though the window is boarded up, the Patels say it is very much ‘business as usual’.