Local diner is open less than 12 hours after car crashes into building

Diner is open for business despite 5 foot hole in the front wall after a truck crashes into the side.

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – A vehicle crashed into the Ranch House Diner Saturday evening leaving damage on the side of the building.

However, they were open for business the very next morning.

“You have your friends then you have your family. These are family,” Owner Sammy Sullivan said.

Shock and disbelief are what employees and customers felt after the news of a truck crashing into the side of the Ranch House Diner.

Owner Sammy Sullivan said he saw the accident unfold.

“I was actually in the parking lot waiting to enter the road myself when the truck stopped in front of me. He just pulled right out in front of a lady and struck him, T-boned him from his passenger side and he flew into the building,” Sullivan said.

The accident left a 5-foot gaping hole just below the window and moved booths 5 feet further into the restaurant.

After 3 hours of cleaning with both community members and employees, the restaurant was open for business at 5:30 a.m.

“I worked until 9 o’clock last night putting plywood up and securing it, cleaning up and putting back in place so that we could be open,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said despite the damage, it was important to open their doors to the public.

“They eat breakfast and lunch with us and they’re here every day so it would have been unfair for us to close down with just one hole in the wall,” Sullivan said.

Kevin Forrester is a Master Sergeant with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and a weekly customer of the Ranch House Diner.

He said when the community heard about the damage, folks didn’t hesitate to get in the doors and support.

“The good thing is, when you have a good client base like us, we’re going to support our people. With him trying to make a go of this after his retirement, we’re always here for him. We love eating local, we love shopping local,” Forrester said.

Sullivan said it’s customers like Forrester that make hard times all worth it.

“I think it’s just a blessing that me and my wife, we have the people the community’s their support. Many of these people are our friends. We’ve known them for years and they come in all the time anyways but today it just seems different you know,” Sullivan said.

The driver of the vehicle was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Sullivan said repairs to the restaurant will be finished soon.

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