Fort Worth

Car drives into R. J. Gator’s dining room in south Fort Worth

A trio of regulars at a Florida-Tex Mex restaurant on Trail Lake Drive had just placed their lunch orders about noon Wednesday when a car crashed through the front of the building, pushing them in their booth across the room, an owner of R.J. Gator’s Florida Sea Grill & Bar said.

Diane Brooks said she was in her office when she heard a “huge explosion” and one of her waitresses screaming. She looked out into a cloud of dust to find a Chevy Impala, driven by a woman she recognized as a regular customer, in the dining room.

“By the grace of God, the customers were not sitting at their regular table,” Brooks said. “They probably would have been killed.”

The driver of the car, a 2006 Chevy Impala, is a 73-year-old woman who lost control of the car, said Sgt. Steve Enright, a Fort Worth police spokesman.

Diane Brooks, who co-owns R.J. Gator’s with her husband of 20 years, Blake Brooks, opened the restaurant in November 2013 at 4413 Trail Lake Drive.

One of the customers in the booth got a “pretty good bump on his head” but didn’t go to the hospital, Diane Brooks said. The waitress was knocked against the wall by high-top tables and was treated and released from a hospital, she said.

Blake Brooks said his goal is to get the restaurant back up in running before the end of the month.

“We will rebuild. We will reopen, and we will get back to being R.J. Gator’s,” Blake Brooks said.

No criminal charges are expected, Enright said.