Oregon — No one was hurt when a car rammed into a downtown restaurant after being hit by another vehicle at a nearby busy intersection on Sunday afternoon.
At 12:50 p.m., a vehicle traveling south on Illinois Route 2 (Fourth Avenue) stopped at the intersection with Illinois Route 64 (Washington Street), according to Oregon State Police Chief Joe Brooks. Unable to do so, it collided with an SUV heading west.
“A southbound driver ignored a red light and hit a westbound vehicle, causing the driver to lose control and crash into a building,” Brooks said.
After being hit, the SUV crossed the sidewalk and entered the south side of the Ogle County Brewery through a glass garage door, shattering some glass in the dining area and crashing into several chairs and tables.
Rockford’s Kim M. Risley, 70, was ticketed for failing to obey traffic control equipment, Brooks said.
Brewery employee Katie Gatton, who was behind the bar when the accident happened, said the restaurant was occupied by about 10 people at the time, but customers were seated near the bar.
“Thankfully there was no one near the door that could have been hit by the car and the flying glass,” Gutton said. It appeared to arrive quickly and I wanted to make sure the drivers weren’t hurt, thankfully they weren’t and neither was the customer.”
The impact placed part of a large garage door over the SUV, prompting Oregon firefighters to secure the door after the driver exited the vehicle.
Gatton said the accident happened very quickly.
“I was behind bars and I was kind of stepping back. Some of the guests were stepping back trying to figure out where to go. I wanted to see if I could go far, and it’s kind of hard in those situations because everything happens so fast,” Gatton said.
After the SUV backed out of the dining area, Mark Gale of Wiggale Inc, an Oregon firefighter and one of the building’s owners, began figuring out how to remove the damaged door.
“It took a while,” said Oregon Fire Chief Mike Knoop. “Garage doors were dangerous because of the heavy springs and this was completely off track. It had to be disassembled piece by piece.”
The fire brigade remained on site until 3:30 p.m.
Gail said her friend Justin Lehman came and helped him and his son Dan take the door apart.
“Justin has experience with garage doors, so he was able to take some of the kinks out.
It is closed on Mondays and hours may change due to repairs.
“It will be clean again,” Gale said. “But it might take some time. We’ll make temporary repairs to keep everything safe.”
Gail thanked everyone who helped her after the accident.
“There were a lot of people who jumped in and helped… firefighters, police… I’m very grateful that no one was hurt,” he said.