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Car Smashes Into Newly Opened Horseman Deli In Sleepy Hollow

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - A Westchester deli that opened in April says despite the pandemic, business was booming.

Then a car came crashing through the front window, doing tremendous damage.

Car Crashes Into The Horseman Deli
The aftermath of a car crashing into The Horseman Deli in Sleepy Hollow. (credit: CBS2)

As CBS2's Tony Aiello reports, the owners of The Horseman Deli didn't count on having a mess on the menu when they took a chance and opened during the pandemic.

"COVID kind of taught us all that you just can't wait for things to happen, have to make the situation for yourself.  We opened up the deli and then this happened," said co-owner Kristina Rolon. "It's still shocking and mindblowing."

A sedan came crashing through the deli's front window at 3 a.m. Sunday. Surveillance video shows a flash of flame - the force of the impact dislodged the engine, which fell to the ground.

Investigators say the car hit a curb a light pole, which caused it to flip over. It was bad, and could have been worse.

"It was probably one of the craziest accidents I've ever seen - they missed two gas pumps by a couple of inches and also missed the main natural gas line going into the deli," said Sleepy Hollow Fire Chief John Korzelius.

When first responders arrived, the car was empty. Police say the driver and four passengers fled the scene on foot. The driver later turned himself in and faces charges.

The owners are customer-oriented by nature, and soon after absorbing the shock of the damage, they began to think about a catering order for a local church due at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

That's when the fire department came to the rescue.

"The fire department, it was very nice for us. They said 'You guys gotta do some catering? You can use the equipment from the fire department,'" said co-owner Freddy Moreno.

The deli owners filled the catering order using the firehouse kitchen.

"At the end of the day I'm glad that at least they did the right thing and turned themselves in," Kristina Molnar said.

Car Crashes Into The Horseman Deli
The aftermath of a car crashing into The Horseman Deli in Sleepy Hollow. (credit: CBS2)

"Maybe they're watching and will come help clean up," co-owner Mike Molnar said. "I'm serious."

Mike Molnar says keeping a sense of humor is key, along with a determination to clean up, spruce up and open back up. It will take weeks to recover from the crash. They're determined to reopen ASAP.

"What are we gonna do? At the end of the day we gotta rebuild and move forward.  That's what we're good at," he said.

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