Truck smashes into Matlacha restaurant, damages other private property, drives away

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: Carmen Driscoll.

A Southwest Florida Restaurant is in need of numerous repairs after the driver of a car smashed a hole in the wall of the business and drove away. It’s all caught on surveillance video. We spoke to the owner of a vehicle also damaged, who said she and the community are confident they will find the driver responsible.

Blue Dog Restaurant Bar & Grill suffered property damage after a truck veered off the road, knocked over a sign, a bench and side swiped a car before slamming into the restaurant.

After all that, the driver never gets out of the vehicle and speeds off during early morning hours Saturday.

Carmen Driscoll of Carmen’s Kayaks said she received a startling phone call at 3:30 a.m. when she learned the news of major damages to the Blue Dog off Pine Island Road.

“He said ‘You might want to come over here, I think your truck was hit. They hit the Blue Dog restaurant,” Driscoll recalled.

But the driver who caused all the damages is nowhere to be found.

“There seems to be a lot of hit-and-runs,” Driscoll said. “That was honestly my first reaction. I was really happy that no one was hurt.”

Another nearby business owner said it’s not something that happens near them too often, however.

“It was kind of a surprise,” said Whitney Brown, the owner of Perfect Cup. “Doesn’t happen often, very rarely really.”

WINK News obtained video surveillance from a Perfect Cup that shows the truck moments before the crash. Just seconds later, the driver leaves the scene.

“It’s just a matter of our personal property was hurt, and we’re trying to run businesses here,” Brown said. “You know, just stop and let us have your information.”

Driscoll told us there were parts of the truck left behind from the crash right in this area. She’s hoping those pieces will help lead Lee County Sheriff’s Office to a suspect. She said she thinks this is thousands of dollars in damage that need repairs.

Driscoll and her neighbors believe the car involved is a red ford F-150 pickup truck. And they are confident that they will find the person responsible.

“We’re a small community and we all look out for one another, and we’ll catch who did this,” Driscoll said.

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