Massachusetts

Driver sought after hit-and-run crash shuts down Watertown restaurant

Police in Watertown, Massachusetts, are looking for the driver of a red F-250 with lights on the roof and front-end damage after Jana Grill and Bakery was damaged in a crash

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It took a split second for a truck to slam into a restaurant in Watertown, Massachusetts, forcing it to shut down.

Jana Grill and Bakery, a popular Mediterranean restaurant at the intersection of Watertown Street and Galen Street, is owned by an Armenian family that relies on the business to make ends meet.

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"This is my baby," said owner Suren Keryan.

The man involved in the crash was driving in a red pickup truck and was captured on camera at 2:19 a.m. Monday as he turned the corner on Galen Street, driving through straight into the building, knocking down a pole before hitting the brick wall.

The crash brought the truck to a halt, with no airbags deployed. Despite the impact, the man was able to drive away.

"God bless him and that nothing happened, I mean, nobody was [injured]. No damage happened to any person," Keryan said. "That's more important."

But the damage to his charcoal grill means he cannot cook authentic Armenian dishes, and the damage to the building means he cannot put food on the table for his family.

"It happened for some reason, so we just need to find a reason, and maybe this happened to become stronger," he said.

Keryan is now relying on the community he serves to find the person behind the wheel.

"We would like to identify the driver of the vehicle and a red F-250 with lights on the roof and extensive front-end damage. It should not be hard to pick out," said Watertown Police Captain Dan Unsworth.

If running a small business wasn't hard enough, having a truck run into it has made things even harder for Keryan. He and his family opened the business in 2018. It has already survived through the COVID-19 pandemic and a fire.

"Hopefully, this is going to be the last one," Keryan said. "We're going to open. Please, please, please no more accidents, let us just open. Let us just work for our community."

Keryan was in the middle of expanding the business to Boston. He has applied for a permit to open a bigger restaurant, but those plans are now on pause.

It's unclear when the building will be repaired and the restaurant restored.

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