A COMPANY director was 'lucky to be alive' after a car crashed into his town centre premises.

Nigel Darcy was smoking a cigarette in the doorway of his letting agency, which sits between Bee's Boutique and Revive on Manchester Road, Nelson, when a car smashed into the shop front at around 9am today.

The 50-year-old, from Barley, jumped back into the building moments before the Audi accelerated into the window of the Manchester Road letting agents.

The Audi had squeezed between one of the pillars that holds the canopy at the shop entrance after shunting a Ford Focus and Mr Darcy's car, which was parked outside the store. 

Mr Darcy's colleagues said their boss was 'lucky to be alive' as the car was just inches away from hitting him. 
The director of Nigel Darcy Estate Agents said: "I still haven't taken it in really. 

"At first I could just hear something screeching and then the next thing I saw a car swerving all over the place. 

"It hit the window frame which struck me back on the back of the heel and I jumped backwards.

"In my 20 years here nothing like this has happened. 

"There have been plenty of bumps on the kerb but nothing like this."

Staff members said they were equally horrified when they first saw the car appear.

One worker, 45, who was sitting on the front counter at the time, said: "I was in shock and horrified when I saw it.

"How the driver did not knock down the building I will not know. Mr Darcy was lucky to be alive."

The Audi had shattered part of the two front windows at the shop entrance and the repairs are expected to cost between £10,000 to £15,000.

Despite the extensive damage to the shop front the business remained open throughout the day.

Police and ambulance crews were called to Nelson town centre shortly after 9am.

No arrests were made and neither the staff at Nigel Darcy's or driver of the red Audi were taken to hospital.

A police spokesman said: "We were called at 9:05am to reports an Audi and a Ford Focus had crashed into a shop front in Manchester Road.

"No one was injured and we haven’t made any arrests."