CARBONDALE — Thai Taste remains closed for repairs after a vehicle crashed into the restaurant’s north wall Thursday evening.
Owner Tam Rachatanavin said he hopes to be back open by the weekend and that he doesn’t yet have an estimate for the cost of the repairs. Workers finished demoing out the damage Wednesday morning, he said.
The Carbondale Police Department said that Kevin Barker of Marion was driving west on West Main Street shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday when he apparently ran a red light, driving into the intersection of West Main and crashing into another vehicle.
Another vehicle traveling north on South Illinois Avenue crashed into Barker’s vehicle, sending it crashing into the north wall of the restaurant, police said in a news release.
The car shattered the window and caused some damage to the brickwork and masonry around it; it also dislodged a cast-iron storm drainpipe that ran from the roof to the street and ties into the city sewage system.
“(When we reopen) depends on how much damage there is to that drainpipe,” Rachatanavin said.
After the crash, one person inside the restaurant was taken by Jackson County Ambulance to Memorial Hospital of Carbondale to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Rachatanavin said the individual was a customer who was sitting with his back to the window, and that he wasn’t directly hit by the vehicle; the wall hit his chair and he suffered cuts and bruises.
“We’ve been in contact with him and his family,” Rachatanavin said.
It’s not the first time a vehicle crashed into the restaurant. About five years ago, Rachatanavin said, a car was coming down Illinois Avenue the wrong way, was struck by another vehicle at the intersection, jumped the curb and knocked a city wastebasket into the brick wall.
That incident didn’t cause significant damage, just some bulging of the brick wall.
“It was nothing like this,” Rachatanavin said.
Still, although the incident left the staff shaken up, Rachatanavin is undaunted and eager to get back to work.
“We hope to be back up and running as soon as possible,” Rachatanavin said.