Elderly man crashes car through Kingsport restaurant; two diners injured

Rain Smith • Oct 29, 2009 at 12:00 AM

An elderly man backed his Buick through the front of a Chinese restaurant in Kingsport today, shortly after 1 p.m.

The incident occurred at the China Star Buffet, 2400 West Stone Drive. According to Kingsport Police Sgt. Joe Earles, the driver and two two people sitting inside the restaurant eating were transported to the hospital. The extent of their injuries is currently not known.

Sgt. Earles said the driver, and elderly man yet to be identified, says he was sitting still in a handicapped parking space adjacent to the restaurant's entrance. Police believe that he was attempting to park or exit the space, and hit the accelerator while the car was in reverse.

At the scene, there were visible tire tracks leading from the handicapped space, through the parking lot, over the shopping center's sidewalk and through the restaurant's front doors.

The vehicle came to rest with its rear two doors, back tires, trunk and bumper inside the building

Earles said it was too early to determine if charges would be placed against the driver. An investigation of the incident continues, and police expect to issue a press release later today.

Check back with Timesnews.net and tomorrow's print edition for details as they become available. CLICK THE BOX BELOW for a video report from the scene.

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