Unknown driver crashes car into downtown barbershop

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 28, 2002

The upstairs tenant of Mr. D’s Barbershop at 404 W. Washington St. got a rude awakening late Monday night when a car plowed through the front of the business, knocking the side of the building off its foundation.

According to the owner of Mr. D’s, John Oliver, the car charged into the building at 10:45 p.m. Monday. He said the vehicle crashed straight into the structure and he’s not yet sure how much it’s going to cost to rebuild the front and side.

This marked the second time in two weeks that such an incident has occurred in Suffolk.


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Last week, Homer’s Restaurant on Carolina Road was turned into a real drive-through when a car crashed its way into that structure. The restaurant, a landmark in this city, was out of business for a week while undergoing a $10,000 repair job.

As for Mr. D’s, the owner is taking the temporary destruction of his livelihood in stride. In fact, he’s more concerned for his clientele than for the loss of revenue while his building is being re-constructed.

&uot;I’m worried about where they’ll get haircuts this week because most of them have come to me for years,&uot; said Oliver. &uot;I cut hair for lawyers, doctors and judges and they need to look sharp. I’m just thankful that no one was hurt, including the driver of the car.

&uot;The gentleman upstairs, Gary Blevins, is also a fine Christian man and he’s all right. We know God’s got everything under control.&uot;

Although police are still searching for the driver of the wrecked vehicle, Oliver and his wife, Jean, are not likely to forget the

station wagon, a Buick La Sabre, in their store.

Jean Oliver added that the driver jumped out of the vehicle uninjured and fled in an unknown direction.

Captain Jim Judkins of the Suffolk Fire Department called Mr. D’s &uot;a pure, old-fashioned barbershop.&uot;

&uot;John is one of a dying breed,&uot; said Judkins. &uot;His shop is totally unlike the hairstyling shops of today’s world.&uot;

Oliver has been at the Washington Street location for the past 13 years and prior to that he was in the historic Professional Building in the heart of downtown Suffolk.

If all goes according to general contractor Wayne Godfrey’s plans, Oliver and his wife will reopen the barbershop Thursday.