Sharon Symes stands beside the boarded-up entrance to Porter’s Coffee and Tea shop. A young driver lost control of her vehicle on Monday evening and crashed into the front of the store at Murrayville's Five Corners

Sharon Symes stands beside the boarded-up entrance to Porter’s Coffee and Tea shop. A young driver lost control of her vehicle on Monday evening and crashed into the front of the store at Murrayville's Five Corners

Close call for coffee house owner

Sharon Symes’ week included a burglary and a near-fatal crash

Sharon Symes had just put her hand on the front door handle of Porter’s Bistro Coffee & Tea House to check the lock, when she saw the car across the street coming straight for her.

Her bad week was about to get worse.

Symes and her 15-year-old daughter Sydney had gone to the bistro after hours to re-stock supplies because they’d been busy dealing with the after-effects of a break-in at their home on Monday, Aug. 15.

Two professional thieves had removed about $20,000 worth of property from their South Surrey home.

Because they were being tailed by police, the pair didn’t get far, but they dumped some of the stolen goods during the police chase, throwing items out the windows of their van.

Restocking supplies of milk and pop and other items at the Langley bistro was disrupted as a result.

So mother and daughter went in after hours to get caught up.

When they finished around 7 p.m., Symes went to check the front door, as she routinely does, to make sure it was locked from the inside.

Mother and daughter then planned to exit through a side door of the historic Murrayville building at the Five Corners intersection of 216 Street and 48 Avenue.

As Symes checked the door, a young woman driving a grey Honda Civic hopped the curb and lost control in the nearby roundabout.

Symes yelled at her daughter to run and shoved her out of the way of the oncoming car.

Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion, she recalled, like one of those nightmares where you move like molasses. She expected the Civic would come through the door and she was waiting to feel the impact of the car on her back as she shoved her daughter out of the way.

“I thought I was going to die,” she said.

“I thought that there’d be a chalk mark on the floor.”

Instead, the Honda skidded into the wall beside the door.

The force of the impact covered the interior with glass and debris and sent a heavy metal antique cash register flying, knocking several pieces off.

Police and fire crews arrived to find no one had been hurt.

The young driver of the Civic called her father to come and get her, and Symes arranged to have the entrance boarded up.

Wally Martin, who lives across the street, said he heard the crunching noise of the car impact around 7 p.m. as he was getting ready for dinner.

Martin is a big fan of the roundabout, which he said has substantially reduced collisions at the five-way intersection since it was built.

But there is no speed limit sign on the roundabout to tell motorists to slow down, Martin notes.

“They should put it right on the centre island,” he said.

He has seen drivers take the tight turn “on two wheels” sometimes.

It is not the first time a driver has lost control in the roundabout, Martin added.

About two years ago, he said, a car hit the curb near Porter’s, missing the building but destroying a tire.

The driver carried on up the street on his rim, sending sparks flying, Martin recalled.

On Tuesday, Sharon Symes was talking to her husband by phone in between dealing with insurance and building repair issues, as she prepared to reopen Wednesday.

He told her their nice new car had just broken down.

Trouble, it is said, comes in threes.

“That’s our third,” she told him.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)
Surrey council approves $420,570 in grants for local arts, culture groups

This happened at Monday night’s council meeting, to cover 2021

In September 2018, former Vancouver Canucks player Dave Babych tees off at Northview Golf & Country Club in Surrey during the 35th annual Jake Milford Charity Invitational tournament. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
No ‘shotguns’ or banquets: Surrey golf courses pitch COVID-safe tournaments for 2021

With spring on the way, course operators book tournaments that will involve ‘tweaks and adjustments’

Investigators placed dozens of yellow evidence markers on the ground near the site of a fatal shooting in Langley City early Wednesday morning. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
UPDATE: 22-year-old man killed in targeted shooting in Langley

South Surrey vehicle fire may be linked to homicide: police

Members of the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society picked up their new van from Mainland Ford in Surrey Wednesday (Jan. 27, 2021) after the society’s old van was stolen and damaged. (Submitted photo: Dylan Van Rooyen)
After thrift store van stolen and damaged, Surrey dealership helps out firefighters’ charitable society

The Community Thrift Store van was stolen in South Surrey in December

Surrey-raised actor Michael Coleman in some of the roles he’s played since the mid-1990s. (submitted photo)
Chat with Robin Williams helped send Surrey’s Coleman into world of acting

‘For me, it was a game-changer,’ says co-founder of Story Institute acting school

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

BC Place Stadium in a photo posted to cisc-icca.ca.
Roof of BC Place a stage for performers during online music festival

‘This will be the first time any artists have performed from the 204-foot iconic Vancouver rooftop’

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Driver crashes vehicle twice in one day near Princeton

Abbotsford woman, 29, wasn’t injured in either incident

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Most Read