Johnson’s Drive-In: 1 dead, 3 injured after car crashes into Siler City Burger
It happened at Johnson’s Drive-In, which is often mentioned on lists of the best burgers in North Carolina.
Sealer City Police said they responded to the restaurant at 1:10 pm, one person was announced dead at the scene, and another person was airlifted to the UNU Medical Center in serious condition.
Police said two other people were taken to Chatham Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The car was traveling on 64 US planes heading west in front of the restaurant just before the accident.
Police are still investigating what happened and said the driver of the car was cooperating fully.
Carolyn Roth, owner of Johnson’s Drive-In, said she was in the back of the restaurant, which has been in business since 1946, when the accident occurred.
“I was getting close to the corner and moving forward when I heard the commotion and looked and saw the customers rushing in,” Roth said. Then I watched the car come through the building.
Most of the restaurant’s customers are regulars, Roth said.
“More than anything, we have a client base that is largely made up of people who are here all the time,” Roth said. “So we get to know a lot of our customers very well – they are like family and I still don’t know everyone who was injured in this accident.”
Roth said the restaurant’s dining room remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so customers have been there to either attend or order online.
The accident occurred in the extension of the building, which was built in 1960.
“This is life, I grew up here,” said Ruth, who took over the business when her father retired in January. His father was the original owner. “It’s like seeing your house destroyed, so that shook me a little too, but at the end of the day, it’s brick, it’s mortar, it’s glass; it can all be fixed.
“My focus now, my main concern is the people who have been infected,” she added.
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