Local

Reaction from Me-N-Ed's employee on crash

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Me-n-Ed's employee gives his firsthand account of what happened inside this restaurant Sunday. Action News has the exclusive surveillance footage.

The crash happened just before 3:00 p.m. at the Me-n-Ed's on Willow and Nees in Clovis. Police arrested the driver, 74-year-old Alice Mendoza of Fresno after discovering there were two warrants out for her arrest.

Me-n-Ed's reopened Monday morning. The car went through the dining room, and wound up near the back of the restaurant. It missed customers by a few inches.

This surveillance footage shows just how quickly this Mercedes convertible accelerated into the Me-n-Ed's dining room in Clovis Sunday.

Seconds later, you can see employees help the driver, 74-year-old Alice Mendoza get out of her car. Witnesses say she was shaken up, but otherwise unharmed.

Christian Daniel said, "She was okay, and she kept muttering, my brakes don't work, my brakes don't work."

Christian Daniel was working in the kitchen when he heard the crash. He took video of the aftermath using a hand-held camera. It shows tables knocked over and shards of glass everywhere. "I started like shaking and my next thought was, oh my gosh, someone just got run over by this car."

That someone, he thought, were the two boys sitting inside this booth. The car missed them by mere inches. Miraculously, they both emerged without any injuries. Action News spoke with one of them just minutes after the crash.

Matt Walton said, "And the table flew on my friend and then I was like what just happened and then it knocked it over to me, just through it off and we got up."

In fact, none of the six customers, or the employees, were hurt. And, in an added twist to this case, Clovis Police arrested the driver on two warrants dating back nearly twenty years.

We checked with the Fresno County courts today. One charge, involved a 1993 embezzlement case. The other, a grand theft charge from 1995, which alleges Mendoza took money, and or property, totaling more than $2,000.00.

Janet Stoll-Lee said, "They were still active warrants, so they needed to book her and that's what they did, so technically it was an arrest and then they released her. It definitely is a rather unusual case."

Police say no alcohol or drugs were involved. The woman simply pressed on the gas, instead of hitting the breaks. As for the damage, the manager says insurance will take care of it. Either way, they're just happy no one was hurt.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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crimetracker, clovis, fresno county, clovis police department, local, shannon handy
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