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Car drives thru restaurant

Stops 10 feet short of going out back wall

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Car drives thru restaurant

Officer Mike Keener leads handcuffed Juan Andrade, 21, of Manteca away from a crash scene inside King's Vietnamese and Chinese restaurant Friday afternoon.

ROSE ALBANO RISSO/The Bulletin


POSTED April 3, 2010 3:15 a.m.
A Manteca couple eating a late lunch had the shock of their lives at 2:22 Friday afternoon when a car literally exploded through the rear door and adjoining glass windows at King’s Vietnamese and Chinese Cuisine restaurant at the corner of West Yosemite and Watson avenues across from the Marketplace Cinema 10.

Wanda Gong, one of the restaurant owners, said the car careened through the glass with a large “boom” knocking tables everywhere in its path.  It came to a stop some 10 feet from the front of the business where the driver then attempted to back up his 2002 Nissan Altima as one of the diners reportedly yelled at him to stop.  Skid marks from its tires demonstrated it had reversed about 10 feet after the initial crash with tables.

Elsie B. Hirata, 38, had been sitting at a table dining with her husband Terrence when the vehicle reportedly struck her and their table located near the front entrance of the restaurant.  Police said the car missed the man’s feet by inches, because he instinctively stood up against the wall to get out of its path.

Hirata was transported by ambulance to Kaiser Hospital where officers said she was reported to have sustained internal bleeding and a possible broken ankle.

The first Manteca firefighters to arrive on the scene quickly installed metal supports into the opening to insure that the beam above the missing windows and door entryway would not crash down on emergency personnel.

Manteca Police Officer Mike Keener arrested Juan Antonio Andrade, 21, for felony drunk driving after giving him a breathalyzer test finding that his blood alcohol level was allegedly above the legal limit of .08.  Andrade reportedly had three teens with him in the car – two teenage girls and one boy.

One of the passengers said Andrade had pulled into the parking lot and then into a stall by the door, because he intended to use the bathroom at the restaurant – claiming he was a regular customer there.

Officer Mike Keener noted that it looked like the incident was accidental; however the traffic accident investigators would make the final decision.  Officers noted that Andrade had already been arrested for another alleged DUI in Manteca several weeks ago.

The restaurant was being boarded up for the night until a glass company could replace the rear door and windows.  The vehicle remained in the center of the restaurant until the accident investigation could be completed.

Andrade was being held Friday night in San Joaquin County Jail in lieu of $51,620 bail.  He was charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly driving under the influence and one felony count of driving under the influence with alcohol or drugs with injury and with two or more priors.
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