Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

July 11, 2011

Driver crashes into B&K drive-in

Owner says man tried to order food after accident that injured an employee

By Daniel Human
Tribune staff writer

— A man crashed his pickup into a drive-in restaurant, injuring an employee, then went inside to order food, the business’ owner said.

Workers were replacing a brick wall and doing other reconstruction at a closed Rupert’s B&K Rootbeer on Monday after the Friday evening traffic accident.

Leonard Webb, 68, drove into one of the walls at the Davis Road drive-in, according to a Kokomo Police Department report.

A woman who answered the phone at Webb’s house Monday said she did not want to comment on the accident.

A Kokomo Police Department report said Webb told police his vehicle’s throttle stuck and he could not slow down as he approached the building.

A breathalyzer test showed a .00 blood-alcohol content, according to the report.

The truck collided with a mo-ped, sending it under an SUV. The pickup crashed through a brick wall and went into an area of the B&K with fryers.

The force of the impact was strong enough to knock about 100 pounds of hot grease out of the fryers, some of which splashed onto a 19-year-old employee who was standing a few feet away, said Dennis Rupert, owner of the B&K.

“It was like an explosion went off,” Rupert said. “... He got out and tried to order some hot dogs.”

The employee went to St. Joseph Hospital with first- and second-degree burns, police said.

Rupert said he had not assessed the damage and did not know how long the repairs would take or how much reconstruction would cost.

The police department report estimated damage between $10,001 and $25,000.

“It could have been so much worse,” Rupert said.

• Daniel Human is the Kokomo Tribune business reporter. He can be reached at 765-454-8570 or at daniel.human@kokomotribune.com.