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Lorito’s Italian Kitchen re-opens after car leaves hole in store front

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 4:47 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - It’s business as usual again after an SUV crashed into the Ocala Center shopping mall, causing damage to several stores.

A man in his 70′s was behind the wheel at the time of the accident.

Just before 2:20pm on Wednesday, the vehicle crashed into the front of the Metro by T-Mobile store.

“Me and my boss was here when it happened, we had a customer too, we were taking a customer when it happened. We were talking and out of no where we heard a loud skrrr and then out of no where the car came through our window and it was really scary. My heart was beating really fast,” Store Associate at Metro, Javia said.

But the impact was felt throughout the shopping mall.

“It was scary. The car hit the foundation and it shook everything and everybody from O’Reilly’s to Metro and everything, we heard it we felt it,” General Manager of Lorito’s Italian Kitchen, Crystal Nunez said.

Lorito’s Italian Kitchen is right next to Metro. The restaurant had to be closed Thursday for clean up and to make sure everything was in compliance, but Friday it was back to business.

“We have been here for 50 years and and we plan on being here for 50 more. Nothing will stop this place it is Lorito’s Italian Kitchen, we are a part of Ocala history,” Nunez said.

Both of the people that TV20 interviewed Friday said there were no injuries to employees during the incident.

Police officials said the 70-year-old man who crashed into the store had minor injuries but is doing fine.

Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.

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