BAINBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, Ohio - A breakfast tradition turned tragic, leaving one woman dead after an SUV plowed into Washington Street Diner where she was eating with friends Monday morning.
Officials identified Ann Myers, 76, of Bainbridge Township, as the victim, saying she died at Hillcrest Hospital Monday afternoon as a result of her injuries. A second injured diner, Kenston Local School Board President Anne Randall, was treated for her injuries. Her family told Fox 8 News was expected to be released Tuesday.
Police said Thomas Herrick, 78, was pulling his GMC Yukon into a parking spot at the diner when he hit the accelerator instead of the brake. He crashed through the front window and hit the front table.
Herrick, who is a restaurant regular, and a third woman sitting at the table were not injured.
"The driver of this vehicle had no intention of going into a building," Bainbridge Police Chief Jon Bokovitz said. "It's just a mistake, an accident. So it's horrible, I'm sure, for everybody."
The women were part of a group that gathered each week for breakfast at the restaurant, even sitting in the same spot. Many of the women were not present Monday.
"It could have been a lot worse," Bokovitz said.
Myers was remembered as beloved and active in the community. Her family declined comment Tuesday.
"I am just shocked by her passing. I know the people in the community are just stunned by it," Bokovitz said. "She was well liked and it's just tragic."
Bokovitz said Bainbridge police expect to conclude their investigation in the next week and will forward the case to the Geauga County Prosecutor's Office to review possible charges.
Washington Street Diner remained under repair and its owner said he was not sure when it would reopen.