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Driver killed when car slams into Korean restaurant overnight in Ridgefield, New Jersey

Driver killed after crashing into Ridgefield restaurant
Driver killed after crashing into Ridgefield restaurant 01:40

RIDGEFIELD, N.J. -- A man is dead after the car he was driving crashed into a Korean restaurant overnight in Ridgefield, New Jersey, police told CBS2 on Saturday. 

When Jesse Lee came to work at the Karden restaurant Saturday morning, he found broken railings and glass in front of the restaurant that he's owned for only four months.

"There's damage to the window, probably, I don't know, some scratches, some dents," he said. "I never expected this, but there are a lot of things going on."

There was no damage to the inside, allowing him to keep the restaurant open, even with the cleanup underway.

He quickly learned the cause:  a driver who police say hit the building around midnight. The impact was so hard, that man was killed on the spot.

"He was going really fast, like way over the speed limit," witness Brian Molien said.

Molien was on Broad Avenue just moments before the crash. As he came up on Grand Avenue, he noticed the car rapidly approaching behind him.

"He side-swiped me, I got hit. I'm fine, nothing too bad, but he kept going, he never stopped, he went over the island until he hit the building straight on," Molien said.

Emergency crews arrived moments later to find debris scattered, and with the driver deceased, they immediately placed a tarp on top of the car.

"I was very sorry about the one person who passed away because of the accident," Lee said.

Lee is thinking about the life lost just steps away from this business, and also grateful it didn't happen during business hours.

"I'm lucky, but still, I feel bad for the person who passed away. But I'm lucky," Lee said.

Police are investigating circumstances surrounding this crash, but they do tell us no one else was hurt.

The victim's identity has not yet been released.

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