Fort Worth

‘It sounded like an explosion’ when car crashed into Fort Worth pizzeria, woman says

Car crashes through wall of Greek Pizza & Pasta in south Fort Worth

A car crashed through the wall of Greek Pizza & Pasta in South Fort Worth, injuring 3, on Monday, July 8, 2019.
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A car crashed through the wall of Greek Pizza & Pasta in South Fort Worth, injuring 3, on Monday, July 8, 2019.

A sudden and thundering crash rang out Monday night when a speeding car burst through the wall of a Fort Worth pizzeria and ended up inside the building.

Soon after, efforts to rescue the injured began.

Angela Zaghloul, the manager of Mr. T Food Store across the street from Greek Pizza & Pasta, said it sounded like “an explosion or very loud fireworks.” She and her husband, Sam Zaghloul, looked out the window and couldn’t see anything, but went outside moments later when they noticed police lights.

She saw six or seven people — including nearby food truck workers — trying to remove a man trapped underneath the car, she said. A woman who said she was the man’s wife also ran across the street to John Peter Smith Hospital to get help, Angela Zaghloul said.

Sam Zaghloul, wanting to help, went over to the restaurant. He and one other person held a door open as police removed the man from the restaurant.

“He got hurt in the leg,” he said.

Three people were injured in the accident at the restaurant, located at the intersection of Galveston and Allen avenues, police said. A MedStar spokesman said on Tuesday morning one injury was critical and two were minor.

An update on the person in critical condition wasn’t available Tuesday afternoon.

The owner of the pizzeria also went to the hospital to get his shoulder checked out, according to Ali Taher, the co-owner of Burgers N Beyond next to Mr. T Food Store.

A man was arrested due to suspicion of intoxication assault with a vehicle, police said. But he was released to medical professional due to his injuries. Police haven’t released the driver’s name.

“Our TIU (Traffic Investigation Unit) detectives are going to be following up with an arrest warrant for the suspect at a later time,” said Officer Jimmy Pollozani, a police spokesman.

Taher said 10 to 15 police cars, three or four fire trucks and three or four ambulances responded Monday night. There was visible smoke inside the building, he said, and fire officials turned off the gas and electricity.

The crash destroyed Greek Pizza & Pasta and left heaps debris surrounding the restaurant.

Father, son injured

Two customers — a father and a son — were injured in the crash but left John Peter Smith Hospital on Tuesday, Taher said. He saw the two being taken to the hospital Monday night when he went over to the pizzeria to see if everyone was OK.

At work on Tuesday, Taher saw the father and his wife walking back to their car at the pizzeria, he said. He went to check on them, and they told him their son had already left the hospital.

The father, he said, suffered “broken bones and I think he had something with his shoulder.” The husband and wife promised to come back to visit his burger place, he said.

“What happened is a miracle,” he said.

Additionally, Taher said he spoke over the phone with the pizzeria owner Tuesday and found out he was going to get his shoulder checked out. He had been hit by the door of the walk-in cooler during the crash, he said.

Taher has known the pizzeria owner since he and his wife opened their burger restaurant in March. He consulted with him back then, he said, to make sure there wasn’t overlap between their menus, not wanting to take business from the pizzeria.

Taher said he was thankful the injuries weren’t worse, but was upset about the damage to the business.

“It’s sad,” he said, “because we lost one of the best pizza places.”

Pizzeria 2
A car crashed into Greek Pizza & Pasta in south Fort Worth Monday night, causing three injuries, police said. A MedStar spokesman said one was critical and two were minor. Jack Howland

Significant damage

Taher, too, said he heard what sounded like an explosion Monday night and saw the destruction.

In videos taken at the scene Monday night provided by Sam Zaghloul, the back end of the car can be seen sticking out of the restaurant, with most of it inside. Angela Zaghloul’s father owns the building, and Sam Zaghloul also took video inside of the restaurant Monday night that shows debris and broken glass scattered across the floor.

More debris lay outside of the restaurant Tuesday morning — from brick, to insulation, to shattered glass, to liter bottles of Coke and Diet Coke. A large piece of equipment that looked like an air conditioner rested in the grass.

The car crashed through the east end of the restaurant but damage was visible throughout. Windows near the western end, for instance, were shattered.

Additionally, a glass door lay in the parking lot at the west end.

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