FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) – Down but not out.
A popular Fort Wayne diner forced to close this week because a car plowed through it will re-open–and soon.
It was about 3:30 am Wednesday when police say 25-year old Ashlee Abbott of Columbia City drove off East State Boulevard and right through the front window of Klemm’s Candlelite Cafe.
It made quite the mess.
The cafe’s owner, Chris Hoeppner, said he left the overturned tables, chairs and broken glass where they fell so an insurance agent could get an accurate picture of what happened.
“We’re getting it fixed so we can get open in the next week or so, hopefully that’s our goal,” Hoeppner said.
The building department slapped a temporary condemnation notice on the diner, because a load bearing beam beside the front window was knocked completely out of place.
It took a day or two, but Hoeppner heard what he needed to hear from contractors– that it wouldn’t be too big a job to repair the hole and again make the building safe and sound.
“Then we knew that we would definitely stay here for the long-term because this place has been here for a long time, so it’s a staple in this community, so we don’t want to let it go,” he said.
According to police, the driver of the car was in a gas station parking lot across the street and admitted to using heroin before she says she passed out.
Her foot then apparently pressed down on the accelerator, propelling the car right into the business.
Hoeppner says he harbors no ill feelings towards the driver, claiming he’s just glad no one was seriously hurt.
He hopes to re-open by Wednesday.
Ashlee Abbott is charged with operating while intoxicated.