While Steve Lee and workers were preparing to serve lunch on Oct. 13 at Mobeta Wings, which has been open for a decade, a woman accidentally drove a Lexus sedan through the front door. None of the workers or three customers in the restaurant was injured.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as 52-year-old Catherine Keeler, of Decatur.
According to witness and police reports, the woman was backing up in the parking lot of Mobeta Wings when she hit an approximately two-foot-high concrete pillar. She then put the vehicle into drive, with some difficulty.
“She hit the gas and accelerated,” said Parke Kallenberg, who owns the building that houses Mobeta Wings. “She doesn’t know what happened from there. She just accelerated and went into the building.”
Kallenberg did not know how long the business would be closed. From outside the building, it appeared that a load-bearing post was damaged in the accident.
“If it’s cosmetic, we’ll probably have them open in a week,” Kallenberg said. “If it’s structural, it will probably take a couple of months.
“That’s the thing that scares me the most,” Kallenberg said. The owners of Mobeta Wings “are very hard working people and they’re effectively closed for a while. If people start going somewhere else [to eat], when will they come back?”
The temporary restaurant closure “will be very hard on them,” Kallenberg said. “This is their livelihood.”
“It’s going to hurt me a whole lot,” Lee said about the accident. “I’m sad. I’m real sad.”
Kallenberg said the accident highlights the problem of being in a small, unincorporated area sandwiched between the cities of Avondale Estates and Decatur.
“This is why we keep asking Avondale and Decatur to annex this area,” Kallenberg said. “So things like this concrete pillar would be taken care of. This just needs to be annexed. It’s in no man’s land right now.”