Police has confirmed that a woman has died following a car crash into a closed retail store earlier on Monday morning, June 3.
Police identified the deceased as 55-year-old Michelle Anne Key- a Zumba dance instructor confirmed by her friend and colleague at dance class Sharon Harmer.
The incident was reported to emergency services around 9:50 a.m. on Queen's Birthday morning after a red Nissan Tiida hatchback car hit Batra Fashion Villa retail store on Great South Road, Papatoetoe.
The owner of the shop said that the shop was closed and was about to open in another 15-20 minutes for the day and had the shop been open, the severity of the incident would have been much higher given it is the Eid shopping period for the community, and there would have been more staff and customers in the shop.
Emergency services outside Batra Fashion Villa in Papatoetoe (Picture Credit: Sam Sword/NZ Herald)
"This was going to be one of the busiest days for us because of Eid, if this had happened 10-15 minutes later, there would have been customers and staff inside, and I am relieved that our staff are OK," owner of the shop Karandeep Singh told The Indian Weekender.
"We have suffered a loss of at least $30,000 to $40,000, we do have insurance that will cover some, but we don't know how much," Mr Singh said.
The vehicle after the crash also caught fire and so the damage to the store and stock is much higher.
"The mannequins besides the building structure were damaged, glass windows and shelves shattered and when we checked our stock, many sarees and suits had glass chunks and specks of dust in it due to the impact of the accident," Mr Singh added.
The deceased Michelle Anne Key was known for her loving nature and dancing ability- she was a matriarch of her family and is survived by her husband and three children who are shocked and coming to terms with this tragedy.
"She was an amazing person and dancer- she had earlier performed at Women Care Trust's Ladies Night event last year- an event for the Indian women held in South Auckland," Ms Sharon Harmer told The Indian Weekender.
Ms Key's last rites will be held at her family place in Coromandel by the end of this week.
Police is investigating what led to the accident that killed 55-year-old dance instructor.