Elmer’s Place makes repairs after dump truck crash
A few weeks after a dump truck crashed through the wall of its dining room, Elmer’s Place in Redgranite has regained some dining space and is working with its insurance company to make plans to repair the rest of the damage.
“I’m just glad that everyone was okay,” said Tanya Shreiner, who co-owns the restaurant located at 201 E. Bannerman Ave., with her brother, Don Faber. “We feel that somebody was watching over all of us.”
The dump truck driver, 62-year-old George C. Cooper of Wisconsin Dells, was flown by ThedaStar helicopter to Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah for an incapacitating injury, according to the Wisconsin State Patrol crash form. Cooper was treated and has since been released, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
The 1992 Ford dump truck was traveling west on State Highway 21 at 6:56 p.m. on April 24 when it left the roadway multiple times, striking posted signs on the westbound side of the road, according to the State Patrol report. David Diamond, 50 of Oak Creek, was driving a 2010 Buick Enclave west in front of the dump truck and crossed the center line in an attempt to avoid being struck by the dump truck, but the truck crossed the center line and rear-ended the Enclave, which spun around and struck a parked 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer owned by a 34-year-old Germantown man. The Trailblazer was pushed into a parked 2008 Toyota Highlander owned by a 67-year-old Menomonee Falls man.
The dump truck then hit part of a stonewall and stopped after crashing through the side of Elmer’s Place, coming to rest with its front half inside the dining room. The truck hit the wall “perfectly between two supports,” Shreiner said. “How he got right in-between the door support and corner wall support and not come in further -- it was a miracle.”
Five customers inside the restaurant received non-incapacitating injuries, including 83- and 38-year-old Berlin women, a 48-year-old Ripon man, an 80-year-old Ripon woman and a 55-year old Menasha man, according to the crash report.
Elmer’s Place was able to reopen the day after the crash, offering bar seating and to-go orders, Shreiner said. With half its dining room now tarped off, the restaurant can seat 28 instead of 50.
Wisconsin State Patrol is investigating the crash. Driver factors listed on the crash report include exceeding speed limit, following too close, left-of-center, failure to have control and driver condition, which was “reduced alertness.” Tests for alcohol and drugs were administered, but results are unknown.
State Patrol Sgt. Thomas Erdmann, who supervises the technical reconstruction unit, said it would take months to receive toxicology results and complete the crash investigation.