Driver crashes into North Gower store

The cleanup continues at a family-owned business in North Gower after a driver crashed through the wall in the middle of the night.

Emergency crews were called to the Perkins Home Building Centre near the corner of Roger Stevens Drive and Fourth Line Road in North Gower at around 12:45 a.m. Sunday when a driver crashed through the east wall of the building.

Ottawa firefighters had to extricate the driver and had him out of the wreckage by 1:30 a.m. Ottawa paramedics say the man in his 20s was taken to the hospital in serious condition with injuries to his head and legs.

No one else was hurt in the crash.

This is what the Perkins Home Building Centre in North Gower looks like after a driver crashed through the wall of the store overnight. @ctvottawa

DETAILS: https://t.co/MEMXj6SyPS pic.twitter.com/vmTSQPsCCI

— Jackie Perez CTV News (@JackiePerez__) September 5, 2021

Crews from Service Master Lanark were called in to help with the cleanup Sunday morning. 

General Manager Mark Perkins was out of town for the long weekend when he learned that a driver had crashed through the wall.

"I don't think it's really sunk in yet. It doesn't seem real," he said, adding that no one was in the store when the crash happened. 

The store is normally closed on Sundays. Perkins said the car, which had gone about 20 feet into the store, was removed from the building by 10 a.m. He hopes to have the store reopened by Tuesday. In the meantime, neighbours have been stopping by to see if they can help.

"The sidewalk's been full of people asking if they can lend a hand and our phone has been blowing up asking if they can help out," he told CTV News Ottawa.

Perkins Home Building Centre, known for decades as Perkins Lumber, has been a staple in North Gower since the 1930s. 

"This place is an institution. It’s been here 70 years and we all know everyone who works here," said a passerby on Sunday. "When you see something like that, the first thing is to make sure everyone is all right."

Why the driver crashed into the store is currently unknown. Ottawa police are investigating but have not commented on any factors that may have led to the crash.