The owners of The Village restaurant in Oak Bay are sweeping up giant shards of glass after a woman, with two children in her vehicle, drove into the front of the building.
A witness said the woman had turned around to talk to her children, who were both restrained in car seats, when she hit the gas.
“I feel sorry for the mother, to be honest, having a couple of screaming kids in the car – I’ve been there,” said The Village co-owner Jason Chan.
Chan was downstairs in the kitchen speaking to his chef when he heard the crash.
“I heard a loud bang in the kitchen and I saw a car in the restaurant. She was just backing out,” said Chan. “She felt terrible. I just said, ‘the kids are okay, no one was hurt’ – an hour ago and she might have killed someone.”
The young woman’s Ford Explorer went over the patio area in front of the restaurant, where just a few hours earlier the lunch crowd sat to enjoy an outdoor meal, struck a planter and crashed into the window around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday (Aug. 7).
The tables had just been cleared away for the day and there were no injuries reported.
“I know my wife gets frantic when she’s driving and the baby’s crying,” said Chan who is the father of a two-year-old and a four-month-old. “You’ve got to keep your emotions in check when you’re driving a five ton vehicle.”
He said the intersection near the restaurant, which he has owned for the past 15 months, is busy and traffic frequently pulls into the angle parking at a high rate of speed.
“Oak Bay needs to install some poles or posts along there to prevent this from happening again,” he said. “People pull in quickly and aggressively … with Crumsby’s across the street, at any given time there’s 50 kids sitting out there. If it happens again it could be a tragedy.”
Chan said the restaurant will continue to operate as usual. “They are boarding up the window now and it will be business as usual tomorrow.”