Counting the cost of crash

A DRIVER caused thousands of pounds of damage to shops and street furniture after he lost control of his car in Portishead High Street

A DRIVER caused thousands of pounds of damage to shops and street furniture after he lost control of his car in Portishead High Street.Police were called at 11.50pm on Sunday after reports a BMW had crashed into a flower carousel and planter, Essensuals hairdressing salon and the off licence.The driver, believed to be foreign, had come to rest on the pavement with the carousel on top of the vehicle.The car hit the planter and carousel, is believed to have spun round with its rear ploughing in through the window of The Local off licence.Manager Nikki Toutt discovered the extent of the damage when she was called out to turn off the shop alarm late on Sunday night.Mrs Toutt said: "It was a terrible mess with glass everywhere. The shutters were pushed in, the window smashed and two bottom shelves in the shop taken out."A total of £675 of wine which was in the window was also lost in the accident."It took me all day Monday to clear it up, but we opened again on Monday evening."The accident also caused thousands of pounds of damage to a carousel and tub, which was installed by the town's Portishead in Bloom group.The green fingered volunteers have been busy counting the cost of the damage and whether they can replace the floral features.Portishead in Bloom chairman Gordon Randall said: "We have tried to do an estimate of the damage and we think it will cost around £3,000 to replace the damaged items."The carousels have to be specially made and it costs £25 just to fill each hanging basket."It is a real blow to the committee."We are currently looking at whether we are covered by insurance for something like this, but if not, it is unlikely we will be able to replace the carousel or planter."Essensuals Hair Salon also suffered damage to its shop front when the planter flipped over.Salon owner Jacky Masden said: "We were quite lucky as we only suffered damage to some of the marble at the front of the building."It was a miracle the driver of the car was not killed or very badly injured."A man has been arrested on suspicion of being drunk in charge of a vehicle and has been released on police bail pending further information.

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