SPRINGDALE (KDKA) – Allegheny County Police say a driver that fled a traffic stop was found dead after their vehicle smashed through the wall of a pizza shop.
Police East Deer Police had tried to pull over the car for suspicion of DUI arond 1:40 a.m. Tuesday morning, but the vehicle fled. Police say officers lost sight of the vehicle and did not pursue it at high speed.
Police later found the vehicle had crashed through the wall of the From Italy pizza shop in the 1100 block of Lincoln Avenue in Springdale. The vehicle caught fire. Damage from the flames and smoke appeared to extend up to the second floor of the building.
The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
No one was inside the business at the time.
Abby Shimpeno lives across the street and worked at the family restaurant for five years.
“I was falling asleep on the couch and the next thing I know, it was a large shake, a boom and I came out to the porch and all I see is smoke and a big hole were I spent a good portion of my life,” Shimpeno said.
Firefighters say the flames were contained to the car, but when it crashed into the kitchen, it sheared a gas line.
Crews also had to make sure the building wouldn’t collapse.
“We had to stabilize the building to get the car out. Plus, to work as far as to check for fire extension to make sure there was no fire on the second floor of the building,” Springdale Fire Captain Dan Copeland said.
The business does have insurance and those who know the owner say that they know that he’ll be able to get through this and rebuild.