A Roseburg man was cited for reckless driving after allegedly falling asleep and crashing into Pete’s Drive-In Sunday morning, forcing the business to close for at least three months.

Jimmie Dunn, 49, was driving the 1998 Toyota Camry when it crashed and caught fire around 6 a.m.

The vehicle was later towed from the scene.

By Sunday afternoon, workers from Pierce Restoration began covering up large sections of the business with plywood and cleaned up shards of glass and other damage strewn everywhere in front of the building.

Pete’s will remain closed for at least three months while the damage is repaired, owner Darrell Orth said. He said he plans to look at a food truck that can be relocated to the existing site, as soon as all of the licensing requirements are met. Pete’s originally opened in 1965 when Harvard Avenue was the busy street in town. The venue serves classic burgers and shakes, adding things like Philly cheesesteak sandwiches occasionally.

Orth bought the drive-in two years ago, having a manager handle the property for him. But in July, he and his family moved back so he could become the owner-operator and start restoring the building.

Inside the drive-thru with mangled kitchen appliances strewn about, a clipboard showed hand-drawn initial plans for a redesign of operations.

For now, future remodel plans will have to wait.

“Kind of ironic, isn’t it,” Orth said, standing outside the building at its location in the 1200 block of West Harvard Avenue.

Orth was notified of the crash Sunday morning by his banker, he said.

“His wife had driven by and thought the building was on fire.

He said if the crash had happened on another day, anyone inside would have suffered a serious or fatal injury.

“They wouldn’t have fared too well,” Orth said.

But despite the structural damage, Pete’s will be back, he said.

“I feel I am the caretaker of Pete’s and I owe it to the community to make sure it’s restored and operating as soon as possible,” Orth said.

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News Editor

Mike Henneke has been working in newspapers for nearly 30 years. Dad of 5 kids, send more snacks.

Crime and Natural Resources Reporter

Saphara Harrell is the crime and natural resources reporter for The News-Review. She previously worked at The World in Coos Bay. Follow her on Twitter @daisysaphara.

(8) comments

Mogie

Now if we could get an update on the crash in highway 42 that would be nice.

jimfest

My money's on a white male Caucasian!

Safety1002

Another right foot pedal error, part of the right foot braking epidemic? If so let’s make sure we blame the driver, especially if they are a women or old (over 40!). Never blame the guys in charge of driver legislation and training who set the driver up to fail. They forced this driver to brake an automatic transmission or electric vehicle with only the right foot. They did this knowing they had 0 Scientific Justification and that right foot braking is too complicated and difficult to mentally maintain with age, dangerously inefficient, (poor stopping distance) and even more dangerous, (subject to right foot pedal error) compared to the simpler and safer left foot braking method. See DOT HS 811 597, 812 058 and 812 431 (spaces required). NHTSA refuses to use the term “right foot pedal errors” but instead calls it “pedal misapplication” and always blames the drivers for not being experts. Score to date, 150,000 dead (19 Every Day), millions injured, and billions in costs. The price male drivers, both in and out of government, are prepared to pay to maintain their systemic belief in a “Killer” braking method based on the scientific foundation of, “That’s the way it’s always been taught”! This is not about which braking method is safer but rather why they refuse to scientifically compare the two methods and continue to produce misinformation about other proposed braking methods. Was it driver error or the way we taught them to brake?

bohica13

No details about the reason for the accident? Driver info? News that isn't news.

cbar405

UnNews Review

Mogie

The cops haven't updated their police blog since last month and that appears to be where the paper gets a good deal of their info. So give the reporters a break. Do you actually expect them to do some leg work? Next thing people will be asking for investigative journalism instead of stories that contain recipes. It's not like these people get paid for...whoops...sorry they do get paid to do this!

Saphara Harrell

If you read the updated version of the story, all that info is in there. Leg work included.

Mogie

Good for you!

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