A man is in critical condition Friday after losing control of the vehicle he was driving and slamming into Jimmy’s Strip District Grille in Adams Township.
Adams Area Fire District Captain Talo Capuzzi said it is unknown if the driver, whose name was not released, suffered a medical issue before veering off Mars Valencia Road or if his condition is the result of the crash.
Adams Area Police said the car, a four-door Ford Taurus, traveled across the front lawn of a home on Mars Valencia Road at about 11 a.m. before entering the parking lot of the building and hitting three parked cars.
The still-moving vehicle also knocked over several pillars in front of the restaurant before hitting the building. It did not enter into the restaurant.
Police said the driver was taken by ambulance to UPMC Passavant in Cranberry. No one else was injured.
“It’s a miracle,” said restaurant owner Jimmy Leahy. “It’s just a miracle no one was outside.”
Leahy, whose car was one of the ones damaged in the parking lot, said he ran from the kitchen to the front of the restaurant when he heard a loud boom. At the time, he was convinced a heavy shelf had fallen.
“It sounded like an explosion,” he said.
Leahy said there were more than 30 people in the restaurant finishing up their breakfast when the car hit the building. He believes that if the driver hadn’t hit the cars in the parking lot first, the car would have gone into the restaurant.
“If he hadn’t hit my car, he could have come in here,” he said.
Server Makenzi Maze, whose car also was damaged, said she was standing near the restaurant’s counter when she looked out the window and saw the pillars being knocked over.
“My heart just started beating really fast and I was freaking out,” she said.
Maze said two paramedics who happened to be in restaurant eating at the time of the crash quickly rushed outside to help the driver.
“Before anyone else realized what had happened they were already out the door,” she said.
Leahy said the building, part of a retail complex that includes Oh My You’re Gorgeous and a dog groomer, will be inspected to see if there is any structural damage. In the meantime, the restaurant is open.
“We still have customers in there,” he said. “We’re working.”