Restaurant building heavily damaged in crash
GOWANDA — A restaurant building was heavily damaged Tuesday after it was struck by a vehicle in the village.
According to the Gowanda Volunteer Fire Department’s Facebook page, at about 930 a.m. firefighters, the Gowanda Ambulance Service and Gowanda Police were dispatched for a motor vehicle accident delivery truck into a building at the China King Restaurant at the corner of South Water and Jamestown streets.
Upon arrival, rescue personnel observed a Morgan Linen delivery truck that had crashed in to the side of China King. Extensive damage to the building was done. The delivery truck was operated by a 34-year-old male from Jamestown. His name was not released.
The vehicle struck the gas line inside of the building, causing a major gas leak. National Fuel was immediately notified and responded to the scene. Nearby businesses and residents were temporarily evacuated until the gas leak was shut off. The gas meter was in the basement of the building, therefore making it impossible for fire personnel to shut the gas off to the building. National Fuel had to shut it off at the road.
According to the fire department, the driver of the vehicle was not injured in the crash and refused medical treatment. South Water Street remained closed until the vehicle could safely be removed from the building.
The fire department said the driver did not have any medical issues that caused the crash. He was making a left hand turn off from East Main Street on to South Water Street when he apparently slid out of the driver’s seat and in doing so, when he was sliding out of the seat, grabbed the steering wheel and abruptly turned the vehicle left and crashed into the building.
Crews from Winters Rigging in North Collins were requested to the scene to shore up the support walls and ceiling beams before the vehicle could be removed. Fire crews remained on scene until 3 p.m. when the building was secure.
The village highway crew was requested and removed all the debris from the building that was in the roadway. Crews cleared the road, which will be temporarily closed until the contractor can get the building closed up.
Given the severity of the accident and damage done, China King is closed until further notice. Village code enforcement also responded to the scene.