Clayton Restaurant Plans to Rebuild After Plane Crash
Posted September 22, 2007 7:41 p.m. EDT
Updated September 24, 2007 10:38 a.m. EDT
Clayton, N.C. — Cleanup after a fatal plane crash is on hold at a Clayton restaurant as investigators finish their work.
Investigators said they believe the pilot was flying the small, single-engine plane that slammed into McCalls BBQ and Seafood restaurant located at 10365 U.S. Highway 70 West on Friday.
“The percussion of the blast actually blew that entire wall off the building,” said Worth Westbrook, owner of McCall's BBQ and Seafood.
The mangled plane could be seen inside the exposed dining area. By Saturday afternoon, investigators with the National Transportation Safety Administration had collected a lot of the wreckage.
McCall's employee Jennifer Dudley said she had a close call with the falling aircraft.
“I was coming into the parking lot when the plane crossed in front of my car,” Dudley said.
“All ceilings in the entire restaurant will have to be replaced because of the water damage,” Westbrook said.
While dining-in is out of the question until the restaurant is rebuilt, the catering service is still operational. Catering orders from the Clayton location are being sent to McCall's in Goldsboro.
Owners do not know the cost of the damage yet, but said they have insurance. It is expected to be enough to cover rebuilding and pay its 100 employees until the restaurant re-opens.
“From our standpoint, it's just matter of fixing it back,” Westbrook said.
Westbrook said the last time a McCall's restaurant shut down was after Hurricane Fran, for about five days.
The cause of the plane crash has not been released.