‘We got really lucky’: Barbershop reopens two days after driver crashes through front entrance

A Belmont Shore barbershop that was forced to close for a few days after a car crashed into the front of their business reopened Friday morning.

American Vintage Barbershop’s Ricardo Luna was getting ready to greet a customer Wednesday morning when the driver of a white sedan came crashing through.

“That was when all hell broke loose,” said Luna, thinking back to how everyone was tumbling over debris after the crash.

Employees in the shop began to yell at the driver to back up as Luna’s client was pinned between a chair near the wall and the car as a result of the crash, but the woman in the vehicle was in shock and visibly crying, Luna said.

When efforts to push the car back failed, a witness ran inside the shop and broke the chair the customer was pinned against, freeing her.

Police responded to the crash at around 10:21 a.m. in the 200 block of Covina Avenue, just off Second Street. When officers arrived, they found three people inside the barbershop suffering from minor injuries, according to the Long Beach Police Department. But the three victims refused medical treatment, the LBPD said.

The driver, who police say was operating the vehicle in the parking lot next door before crashing into the building, also suffered minor injuries and refused medical treatment. There were no signs of impairment, authorities said.

Employees of American Vintage Barbershop and others gather outside the storefront after a car drove into the building Wednesday, April 13, 2022. Photo by Matt Edwall.

An employee of the barbershop who witnessed the crash from outside, Matt Edwall, added that the driver was not speeding before inexplicably crashing into the business.

“It wasn’t done on purpose; she was just looking for a parking spot and just mistook the pedals,” said Luna who mentioned that the employees at the barbershop all knew the driver and identified her as a woman who works nearby. “What’s more important is that we can work, no one died, no one was seriously injured and that’s all that really matters.”

Police could not confirm the cause of the collision and detectives are still actively investigating this incident.

On Friday morning, the barbershop was covered with wooden panels where the front door used to be.

Plywood covers the front entrance of American Vintage barbershop Friday, April 15 after a car crashed two days earlier. Photo by Fernando Haro.

Signs reading “please excuse our appearance while we’re under construction” were posted outside along with others redirecting customers to the back entrance of the shop.

The buzz of hair clippers could be heard from outside and barbershop talk filled the room once more. Neighbors would pop in every so often just to check on the employees of the barbershop.

“It is kind of crazy to be here two days after,” Luna said. “I did not think that that was going to be the case. We got really lucky.”

Since the barbershop suffered no structural damage from the crash, they were allowed to quickly reopen, Luna said. But had the driver of the sedan struck a beam in the middle of the shop or the wall that divides a next-door business, “that would have been it for the both of us,” Luna said.

Still, the employees are focused on being able to provide services to the community while dealing with the outcome of the crash, Luna said.

“We kind of have to show everyone that these things happen,” Luna said. “We got to show face and let people know they don’t have to be afraid to be in here.”

Driver crashes into Belmont Shore barbershop

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Fernando Haro is the Long Beach Post's breaking news and public safety reporter.
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