An Iola woman was taken to the hospital Tuesday following an accident in which a vehicle was driven into the main dining area at B & B Country Cafe, 324 W. Garfield St.
Lenora Fletcher was treated at Allen County Hospital for bumps and bruises after being struck by debris from the accident in which a minivan driven by Iolan Beverly Taylor-Middleton failed to stop before striking the restaurant’s south wall.
The impact of the collision knocked the wall inward, directly into the table where Fletcher was seated.
Another woman at the table refused treatment.
Audrey Wagner, a cashier at the restaurant, was at the front counter and saw the minivan approach but could not react in time to alert the customers before the accident happened, shortly before noon.
“It just all happened so quickly, that by the time you realize what was happening, she had hit the wall,” Wagner said.
Kim Bender, B & B owner, noted that the dining area was filled with customers, probably about 40, when the accident occurred.
“We had a lot of people who were pretty shaken up,” Bender said. “But we were fortunate because it could have been a lot worse.”
Taylor-Middleton, 72, was not injured in the accident.
Despite the accident, B & B will remain open.
B & B features a second room usually used on days with overflow crowds or private parties, Bender said.
“We just moved everybody into the side room,” she said. “The kitchen wasn’t damaged.”
Customers are being redirected to the restaurant’s side entrance while repairs are ongoing.
Construction crews worked late into the day Wednesday to cover up the gaping hole in the wall and were installing new wall supports today to ensure the building remains structurally sound.
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