ELYRIA, Ohio (WJW)– A high-speed collision in Elyria involving a car and a pickup truck left four people injured and a restaurant in shambles.
It happened at about 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Surveillance video obtained by FOX 8 shows a red car pulling out of a parking lot on East Broad Street. Then it’s struck by a pickup truck that barreled through a stop sign on Garford Avenue.
The two vehicles then slammed into a building that houses a beverage drive-thru and a small restaurant.
The collision created such force that the parts of the truck hit a house next door and a couple of cars.
Witnesses stopped at the scene to check on the driver of the car, identified as 48-year-old Charles Locklear, and the driver of the pickup truck, 34-year-old Seth Tatum. After being extricated by Elyria firefighters, Locklear was rushed to UH Elyria Medical Center, and Tatum was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland by medical helicopter.
Witnesses told police and the owner of the building that Tatum never slowed down as he approached the intersection in front of the building.
“I think he just didn’t see the stop sign and he was going too fast. I mean, hopeful everybody is OK,” said Steve Sedivec, building owner.
Two employees were inside the restaurant cleaning up for the night. The high-speed impact of the crash left them buried in a pile of rubble.
The owner of Nikki’s Good 2 Go said her employees, 38-year-old Rachel Young and 18-year-old Madison Sutton, had to be pulled out from under the debris by good Samaritans. Both of the women suffered head and facial injuries and were taken to UH Elyria.
“It is absolutely devastating to see something like this happen. I tried to train my girls to prepare them for robbery or a crazy person coming in, or a fire, but I never, ever thought to even prepare them for something for this,” Nikki Evans said.
Evans said her business was just starting to recover from the pandemic, but unfortunately as a result of financial difficulty, she let her insurance lapse.
“So we had to make choices, do we pay the insurance or do we pay the electric, and we paid the electric,” she said.
With her business in shambles, Evans found something important in the rubble, a photograph of her mother and sister, who both died of cancer. She is hoping it is a sign of better days to come.
“We worked our butts off to get where we’re at today, and we work hard to honor my mom and my sister. And I just don’t understand how this could happen,” she said.
Locklear is in stable condition at UH Elyria, but no information is being released about the condition of the other driver. The two employees of the restaurant were treated for their injuries and released.