Pickup truck hits restaurant

two die

August 27, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE and TARA REILLY

Two people were killed and another was seriously injured Thursday night when a pickup truck ran off Pa. 16 east of Waynesboro, crossed the parking lot of the Mountain Gate Family Restaurant, struck a woman in the lot and then slammed into the restaurant, police said.

The names of the victims were withheld pending notification of next of kin, said Kenneth Peiffer, a deputy Franklin County coroner.

The victims, the woman in the parking lot believed to be in her 20s to 30, and the male driver of the pickup, were pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner Ted Reed.


The bodies were placed in the coroner's hearse.

Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner said in a telephone interview that a passenger in the pickup truck was flown to Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa. He said he could not release further information.

Barry Keller, chief of the Washington Township Police Department, said that the pickup was heading west shortly before 8 p.m. It ran across the front yards of two businesses and into the restaurant's parking lot, hit the woman and the building.

The pickup, a black, full-size Chevrolet, also struck a blue Ford F-150 pickup that was at the side of the restaurant.

Frank Destefan, of Westminister Drive in Waynesboro, said he saw the accident as he was driving west on Pa. 16.

"The truck passed me on the right on the berm very fast. I was about 1,000 yards east of the restaurant at the time," he said.

The truck pulled ahead of Destefan, he said, but several cars were stopped in the westbound lane waiting for a car to turn into the restaurant's main entrance.

"He had no place to go. There was another car heading east which he almost hit head-on," Destefan said.

The truck driver pulled off the road to the left, nearly missed a big lighted sign at Country Corner Meat Market at 10586 Buchanan Trail East (Pa. 16) and crossed over the grass and into the front yard of the Olde Village Barn at 10562 Buchanan Trail East, Destefan said. Then it went into the parking lot of the restaurant at 10530 Buchanan Trail East, he said.

Destefan said he saw the truck hit a pedestrian then the side of the restaurant. He said he stopped and saw a "person on the ground in a blue blouse or shirt. I don't know if it was a man or a woman, but there was a person kneeling over the person on the ground."

He said he drove home but then returned.

Alma Frantz, who lives across the street from the restaurant, was inside her house when she heard the crash.

"I heard the bang. I thought it was something on the road," Frantz said.

She went outside and saw smoke coming from the restaurant, she said. Lori Frantz, her daughter-in-law, said, "There were people running out of the restaurant screaming and everything. There was lots of smoke everywhere."

Lori Frantz said she and family members walked toward the restaurant and saw the truck in the building.

Yellow police tape ringed the restaurant as police, fire and ambulance crews worked the scene.

Buchanan Trail East was blocked off to traffic from Old Mill Road to Old Forge Road, a distance of about a mile. Traffic was detoured over Midvale Road, fire police said.

Mountain Gate Family Restaurant used to be Keystone Kountry Kitchen.

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