Sarah Hale woke at 4am to the sound of police banging on the door of her home on Sunday, July, 8.
At 3.10am, a 21-year-old male driver had failed to turn left at the intersection of Market Street and Main Street, crashing his ute into Ms Hale’s hair and beauty salon – Gypsy Rose.
Police said the Bermagui man fled the scene in his vehicle which caught on fire on Sapphire Coast Drive near Wallagoot Lake Road.
Ms Hale said it was a scary feeling waking up to police knocking at the door, having thoughts that someone had died.
“My partner answered the door to two police who told him that he needed to warn me of what I was about to see,” she said.
Ms Hale was expecting a broken window and a few things smashed, when she arrived at the scene she said she had no words for what she saw, “it was just devastating.”
Debris from the impact was spread throughout the room – walls chipped, flooring left with deep abrasions with furniture and salon equipment tangled in a disheveled state.
There was a product shelf on display in the front window which I found smashed up 30 metres down the hallwaySarah Hale
“There was a product shelf on display in the front window which I found smashed up 30 metres down the hallway,” she said.
“Most of the stuff we have had to chuck out because it is just so damaged.”
Ms Hale was shocked the driver had survived the crash, pointing to where blood was splattered on the window and along the ground towards the pizza shop next door.
“He had got out of the car bleeding, you can see where he bled on the ground. He then got back into his car, reversed out and just drove off,” she said.
“As a small business in Merimbula it has taken a while to get to where I am, especially in hairdressing when there are several others in town.
“It is just so heartbreaking to be left with a mess, everything you have worked for shattering down in just seconds from someone’s stupid mistake.”
Ms Hale’s staff of four helped to clean up the mess, she is also grateful of the community’s support saying, “you just don’t get this kind of help in cities”.
“The boys at Seaside Health and Fitness have offered me free gym membership while I get back on my feet and other hairdressers around town have offered space for me to potentially rent,” she said.
Ms Hale immediately was in touch with the landlord of the building Richard Parbery who also attended the scene in the early hours of the morning.
“Richard has been more than happy helping, calling me every day giving me updates from the insurance company.”
Police had issued the driver with a number of infringement notices, the matter is now left to insurance agencies to determine the damage and time to carry out the repairs.
Ms Hale is considering to move her business elsewhere if the repairs of the building are scheduled to take more than a month to fix.