Medical issue may have led to crash into restaurant

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AMERICAN FORK -- Police think it was a medical issue and not a mechanical problem that caused a woman to lose control of her SUV and slam into the side of the American Fork Olive Garden Restaurant Wednesday night.

The northeast corner of the building is boarded up, while debris is scattered around the lawn where the vehicle drove through the wall into a bathroom. Tire tracks run from the curb up the sidewalk and across the lawn to where the crash took place.

Witnesses say the car went through several red lights before it hit the building.

"We are very fortunate that the building was impacted where it was. It hit an unoccupied restroom versus a gas main, or going through where patrons may have been seated," said Sgt. Greg Ludlow with the American Fork Police Department.

Ludlow says they don't have any evidence to indicate there were mechanical problems, and they believe the woman was having a medical emergency and potentially could have blacked out. What the medical problem was they haven't fully determined yet.

A restaurant manager referred questions about what happened during the impact to their corporate offices, but he did say the restaurant will be closed for a few days for repair. They are hoping to be open for the weekend, but that hadn't yet been determined.

Ludlow says the restaurant was getting ready to close and there were employees and patrons inside when the crashed happened around 10 p.m.

The driver of the SUV suffered only minor scratches and bruises.



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Randall Jeppesen


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