A wayward Mercedes-Benz careened off Main Street in North Little Rock following a traffic accident Saturday night, with the car smashing through a window and destroying a door at Argenta Bead Co. The impact knocked over shelves and scattered what the owner of the business called “thousands and thousands and thousands” of beads and charms — including several expensive and rare antique glass beads — across the store.
Argenta Bead Co. owner Ellen Roy said that she was told the accident happened between 6:30 and 7 p.m. on Saturday night. According to what she has heard, the Mercedes was traveling North on Main Street when it was struck by a green pickup truck that ran the light at 7th Street. The impact caused the car to spin around, then crash through the front door and window of her shop, at 701 Main Street.
Roy said when it came through the window, the car knocked over four, eight-foot shelves, each packed with glass jars containing “thousands” of sorted charms and beads. Much of that inventory is now piled in drifts of broken glass and other debris on the floor. Roy said the accident also destroyed or damaged vintage Indonesian and African beads, some worth up to $50 each, that had been on display nearby.
Roy said she will be speaking with her insurance agent in coming days, to learn whether the items can be salvaged or will be considered a loss. Roy said when a friend’s shop in Arizona that was similarly damaged by a car, the owners were eventually told they had to scrap every item that had been touched by broken glass. In another instance following the crash of a truck transporting beads in which several cases split open, Roy said, she paid three workers to sort mixed beads by color and shape for five days. When she figured in the labor costs for sorting them, she said, she actually lost money when the beads were sold.
Argenta Bead Co. is open today, Roy said. She said the accident may accelerate their plan to move to a space in Little Rock’s SOMA District in March.