Herald Staff Writer
A Doylestown man is dead after his vehicle crashed into the side of a Wooster Road West restaurant the afternoon of Sept. 9.
Russell Bendel, 68, was pronounced dead at the scene by a representative of the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office. No one else was hurt in the incident.
The joint dispatch center got the call around 3 p.m. that the vehicle had plowed into Dave’s Diner and Barberton Police and the Barberton and Norton fire departments responded.
“When we arrived, there was smoke coming out of the top of the building,” Barberton Fire Department Lt. David Polacek told The Herald. “We sent a crew inside to check for fire and determined the smoke was most likely coming from the vehicle’s tires, which were still engaged at the time.”
Simultaneously, Barberton fire crews found and shut down the utilities while Norton crews went upstairs and searched for people trapped.
“They determined the building was unoccupied at the time,” Polacek said.
An inspector from the Barberton Building Department responded and determined the vehicle could be safely removed without the diner collapsing. Bendel was extricated and put into an ambulance and the medical examiner’s office was called.
“Based on what we found and the reports of witnesses, it appears the victim suffered some sort of medical episode and wasn’t able to control the vehicle,” Polacek said.
The value of the damage hadn’t been determined as of this writing.