A London branch of Snappy Snaps is set to become the chainu2019s flagship store a year after a car ploughed through its window, nearly wiping out its owner. Picture: Scott Collier

In May 2011, a Jaguar XJ careered through the front of

Snappy Snaps in Mayfair, pinning terrified owner Scott Collier to the bonnet

and causing thousands of pounds of damage.

‘Another inch and the car would have crushed his legs,’ said

Suzy Miller, a customer who arrived on the scene soon afterwards.

‘Scott was inches away from having his successful career as

a wedding and corporate photographer trashed, as well as losing his shop.’

Despite the shock of the collision Scott, who had been

trapped against the shop’s front door, managed to capture images of the

aftermath.

The driver escaped unhurt but Scott is still recovering from

injuries sustained in the smash, which was treated as a freak accident.

The shop itself was up and running 24 hours later.

Next month, the refurbished store will be re-launched as a

flagship outlet, boasting new photo editing kiosks and organising photography

workshops.

‘Thanks to the car smashing through my shop, and allowing me

to change the layout, I’m able to have space to offer a new way for customers

to engage with their own images,’ said Scott, 45, who has owned the Shepherd’s

Market branch for 25 years.

This is not the first time the Mayfair store has been in the

news.

In 2006, one of its staff captured the famous last picture of former Russian spy

Alexander Litvinenko
who had been poisoned by what was found to be the

radioactive substance polonium-210.



Natasja Weitsz, who took the widely published photo, had to undergo medical tests afterwards.

Her

portrait showed Litvinenko in hospital, looking weak and without hair.



In 2010, Singer

George Michael was jailed for eight weeks after crashing his car into a Snappy

Snaps shop in Hampstead, while under the influence of drugs.

Snappy Snaps has told Amateur Photographer that it invited George Michael to the opening of its revamped Mayfair branch.

But the star declined, so bosses have hired a lookalike instead.