BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Just before 12 p.m. Tuesday first responders rushed to Kostas Family Restaurant, where a car slammed into the building.
A 90-year-old woman driving a black Honda rammed into the side of Kostas on Hertel Avenue near Parkside Avenue, forcing fire officials to close off a small stretch of the road.
“Thank the good Lord nobody got hurt,” restaurant owner Elias Pozantidis said.”Thank the good Lord nobody was sitting on that side of the patio. We were scheduled to put a couple parties in there, but they decided because it was a little chilly today to do it inside, so I guess they had an angel.”
“Thankfully, it didn’t happen here because we stand right in front of the window,” Corey Graves, who works a few doors down and saw the whole thing, said. “I was walking out of the restaurant to go to the Wellington Pub and all of a sudden, I heard a big smashing noise. I looked over and saw one car hopping and slammed into Kosta’s and glass shattering and it sounded like a big explosion and a whole bunch of smoke.”
Although the elderly woman wasn’t seriously hurt, she stayed in the drivers seat and had to wait 48 minutes for an ambulance — none were available. Firefighters had to remain out of service and all they could do was stand and watch while the clock ticked on. A Rural Metro Ambulance arrived to the scene just before 12:30 p.m.
“It’s uncalled for. There’s no reason in the world there should be a 48 minute delay in responding from the ambulance company,” Buffalo Professional Firefighters Union President Thomas Barrett said. “On occasion throughout the last couple years, there have been a number of delays. I know the (Buffalo) Common Council has taken up the issue when reviewing the franchise agreement with Rural Metro and they were promised that that would be stopped.”
News Four left messages with Rural Metro’s General Manager, but he did not return calls to comment.
Police say driver error seems to be the cause of the accident, but didn’t say if they’d be charging the woman. Building inspectors evaluated the building but have yet to release how much damage the building sustained.