SILER CITY, N.C. (WNCN) – One person died and three others were injured after a car crashed into the front of Johnson’s Drive-In in Siler City on Friday afternoon. One victim was so badly injured they had to be airlifted to the hospital.
“I looked in that direction and I saw the car coming through the building and glass flying,” said Carolyn Johnson Routh, the owner of the Chatham County restaurant.
She said she was in the back of the restaurant when an SUV plowed into a group of people waiting by the takeout window.
“The first thing I heard was just rattling and popping, and I looked up and there were customers jumping and running in that direction,” Routh said.
It happened around 1 p.m. Friday. Siler City police said the driver lost control while driving west on U.S. 64 and hit the family-owned restaurant, which has been in operation for 75 years.
“It’s devastating for me because these are our customers and many, many of them are our good friends. People have been coming here for years and years,” Routh said.
The dining room was empty at the time because they don’t allow people in their dining room. That’s out of concern for COVID-19.
“This is brick and wood and metal and glass, and that can all be replaced. We’re just thinking about the folks that were injured today, that’s really where all of our thoughts are,” said Daniel Routh, Carolyn’s husband.
The Rouths said it’s unclear when they’ll be able to reopen. Police have not yet identified the person killed or those injured. They also haven’t said what charges the driver will face.