Mini-van crashes into Athens Restaurant during lunchtime

Joshua Mootz looks at the damage at Athens Family Restuarant on April 10th minutes after he accidentally drove into the building. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Joshua Mootz looks at the damage at Athens Family Restuarant on April 10th minutes after he accidentally drove into the building. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

CHEEKTOWAGA – Lunchtime for patrons inside Athens Family Restaurant on Harlem Road Tuesday afternoon was interrupted after a mini-van drove through a plate glass window on the south side of the building.

Customer Judy was sitting about five tables away from the window with her two friends.

“We were sitting there and we heard this big noise and I could see the car lights come into the building,” Judy said.

“Nobody was sitting right there, thank the Lord,” said one of the friends who did not want to be identified.  “They just finished lunch and had just left.”

“Our hearts just skipped a little bit.  We’re just so thankful that nobody got hurt,” said another of the friends who did not want to be identified.

The driver of the mini-van, who identified himself to Cheektowaga Chronicle as Joshua Mootz, came up to the patrons while Cheektowaga Chronicle was interviewing them.

Athens Family Restuarant was damaged on April 10th after a mini-van accidentally drove into the building. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Athens Family Restuarant was damaged on April 10th after a mini-van accidentally drove into the building. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

“I’m so sorry to ruin your morning,” said Mr. Mootz.  “It happened so fast.  I went over the thing.  I was with my father-in-law coming to pick up my breakfast.”

Both Mr. Mootz and his father-in-law were not hurt in the Noon hour crash.  Cheektowaga Police at the scene says the crash appears to an accident and it didn’t appear that any summons would be issued.

A Cheektowaga Building Inspector tells Cheektowaga Chronicle that the building is structurally sound and the restaurant can remain open for business.  A board-up company was notified to seal up the broken window frame.

Judy and her friends say they’re going to take advantage of the warm weather next month and have their monthly lunch date at a restaurant on the water – away from the parking lot.