KINGSTON, ONT. – Kingston comic book store owner says he’s lucky to be alive, after a van driver lost control of his vehicle and smashed his storefront window this week.
This is just the latest setback for SBT comics and games owner Mark Fardella, who had to overcome COVID-19 lockdown measures, and a break-in earlier this year that caused his business a financial blow.
Surveillance footage provided by Fardella shows shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday, he and a delivery driver chatting in the store at 749 Bayridge Dr. As the delivery driver, identified as Pat Arenburg, leaves, the truck smashes into the window and front door. .
Fardella says seconds before the accident he heard a noise coming from the parking lot.
“I kind of took a peek to see what was going on,” Fardella says. “And just at the very last second, I saw the truck so I turned around and dived. I didn’t see Pat diving, he kind of landed right at my feet, and I immediately assumed that Pat was dead. “
Kingston Police confirm to CTV News Ottawa that everyone, including the driver of the truck, was not seriously injured.
“The place was filling with smoke and debris,” says Fardella. “I couldn’t see but I heard people screaming outside. I know the barbershop next door had just opened that day so there were a lot of people outside waiting to have their hair cut. hair.”
Kingston Police say a man in his 60s has lost control of the vehicle and confirm no charges will be laid.
This is just the latest setback for the western store, which was robbed on New Years Eve amid ongoing closures as thieves fled with thousands of dollars in merchandise.
“It’s very easy to be angry and to direct that energy somewhere when you can be angry with someone,” Fardella said of last year. “But COVID wasn’t anyone’s fault. It’s easy to get mad at the truck driver but I don’t know what happened to him.”
This allowed the community to come together to support him in any way they could.
Jan Murphy, the owner of Gino’s Pizza in Amherstview, at 6 Speeder’s Blvd., heard about Fardella’s situation.
“He does so much in there. He has a safe space for the kids, he always collects donations for various causes,” he explains.
Eager to return Fardella’s bounty, Murphy created the “SBT Pizza,” with sausage, bacon, and tomato on top. Profits will be used to help the beloved comic book store.
Murphy says dozens of orders have arrived so far, with more all the time.
“We’ve had a lot of orders. I guess I’m surprised and I’m not, because of the quality of Mark and all he has done for charity and the community.”
SBT Comics is open again and is currently operating through the back door.
“You realize that’s what I love to do. I’ve wanted this store since I was a kid,” says Fardella. “So you keep going and keep moving forward.”