In the Parsippany Hilton, One Hilton Court, on Sunday evening, June 9, 2019, at approximately 7:30 p.m, an 87-year-old woman barely escaped injury when she crashed her car through a wall and into the dining room of an upscale restaurant called Ruth’s Chris, police say.
Luckily, no injuries were reported this time.
Ruth Levin, of Livingston, told police that while backing out of a parking space in front of the steakhouse, the gas pedal of her Nissan Sentra became stuck under the floor mat, "causing the sudden increase in speed and uncontrolled actions of the vehicle."
The report also states Levin struck a parked vehicle while backing out of the parking space, and that her car went forward through a glass window next to the entrance of the restaurant.
Witnesses told police the car backed out of the parking space "abruptly at an unsafe speed," crashed into a parked Lincoln MKX, then moved forward in the same manner. The Nissan went over a curb, cutting through landscaping before striking the building.
Levin was issued a careless driving citation for failing to safely control the vehicle. In many ways, the criminal was also the victim. The crash caused heavy damage to the restaurant and outside landscaping, police said, including brick, glass and metal structures, flooring, electrical components, tables, chairs and dinnerware.
A Hilton staffer was unsure Monday morning if the restaurant would open for regular Monday dinner hours at 5 p.m. Two occupants were trapped in the vehicle and Parsippany Rescue and Recovery had to cut the car to remove the occupants. The vehicle was removed from the building by Eagle Towing.
Members of Parsippany Rescue and Recovery, Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department, Parsippany-Troy Hills Volunteer Fire Department District 6 as well as Parsippany Volunteer Ambulance were on the scene. Parsippany Building Department was in transit to the scene to determine the damage to the building.