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Wayward drivers don't stop salon

Two customers in a month have hit the New Port Richey building with their cars, the most recent putting a part in the wall.

Sharon Rubia had just put a cookie in her mouth, a mid morning snack while watching television on a slow day at her beauty salon.

Just as she bit down, a teeth-rattling boom shook the salon, and the wall behind the TV set came smashing inward, tossing a plant stand aside and scattering Harlequin romance novels all over the floor.

"Oh please stop," Rubia later recalled thinking Monday as concrete block and paneling crumbled into the waiting room of Sharon's Beauty Salon.

On the southwest corner of the Trouble Creek Road beauty salon, where the TV was just a moment ago, now sat the front hood of a 1989 Ford station wagon.

At the wheel of the car, Billie Barnes, 95, sat surprised herself. Unharmed, Barnes told the Florida Highway Patrol that she must have hit the accelerator instead of the brakes, a report said.

Paramedics checked Barnes, and she refused to go to the hospital. Rubia, the only other person in the building, was also unharmed.

The officer came and went, as did a tow truck with her car.

After it was all quiet, Rubia gave Barnes the wash and set she came to get.

Rubia then set about calling her insurance company, code enforcement officers and a contractor to come repair the hole in the wall.

This isn't the first time a car has rattled Rubia's walls.

On Aug. 16, while Rubia was on vacation, another customer came for a hair appointment and missed the brake. Fortunately, the car only knocked some concrete blocks out of alignment and no one was hurt in that crash.

But now that two cars have hit the building in one month, Rubia and stylist Anne DiCarlo joked that they're a bit nervous.

"It's an omen," DiCarlo said, laughing. "It's like God is trying to tell us something."

Rubia said the waiting room will be boarded up, but they will be open for appointments.

But the chances of two crashes in a month was "just unreal," Rubia said.

"I've got better odds at this than I do the lottery," she said. "This is the last thing we expected to happen."

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