Christopher Alan Harwood of Broward County, Florida was arrested on Thursday after he allegedly crashed his truck into a restaurant, according to news reports. Harwood, 29, was booked into Broward County Jail on charges of driving on a revoked driver’s license, careless driving, failure to report a crash, and leaving the scene of an injury. It remains unclear whether he has qualified for bail bond or has retained a private criminal defense lawyer.
According to news reports, the truck accident occurred at approximately 11:00 p.m. last Monday at Peter Pan Diner in Oakland Park. The late-night diner reportedly specializes in Greek fare. Harwood was allegedly leaving the diner, driving a 26-foot moving truck at the time. It is not clear who the truck belongs to. Harwood was driving with Christian Alverio in the passenger seat when he allegedly misjudged the size of his vehicle and the top of the truck hit an overhang.
The damage from the collision allegedly caused the structure to collapse. Harwood allegedly exited the truck and ran, leaving behind Alverio, who was injured in the accident. Alverio purportedly told the press that Harwood is his boss and that he had met Harwood at the diner in order to collect his first paycheck, although it is unclear where the two work. Alverio also alleged that both he and Harwood had been drinking before the crash. Since Harwood was apprehended a week after the alleged incident, his blood alcohol content at the time of the collision is not known. He was, therefore, not charged with driving under the influence despite Alviero’s claims.
The financial implications of the accident have yet to be announced, from the damage to the truck and the collapse of the diner. The diner will likely require extensive repairs to its’ parking lot due to the accident, although comments from the owner, Peter Kourkoumelis, suggest that it will not be forced to close. Furthermore, the collapsed building reportedly crushed a vehicle belonging to Kourkoumelis. The make and model of the damaged care are not known. The injuries that Alverio experienced are also unknown. It remains to be seen whether he or Kourkoumelis plan on pressing charges against Harwood.
Kourkoumelis, who has reportedly owned the eatery for 32 years, told the press that he was relieved that no one was hurt in the crash. The restaurant was still open when the accident occurred, and one of the kitchen workers told the press that “Out of nowhere we just heard a large crashing sound. All I saw was a thick plume of smoke.”
Harwood has reportedly been convicted of traffic offenses in Broward County before. His driver’s license had been revoked because of past offenses, officials purportedly indicated. It is not clear whether he will ever be eligible to re-apply for a license.
Occasional car accidents where drivers collide with buildings are reported in South Florida. One such accident that received a lot of press was the one that killed pregnant tourist Alanna DeMella earlier this year. She was killed when the poolside bathroom she was in was struck by a driver. The driver, Rosa Rivera Kim, is now being charged witd DUI manslaughter.