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One Dawson County man is safe due to the quick-thinking actions of a neighbor who noticed an early-morning fire at a nearby home Thursday.
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Truck drives into local restaurant
6 Truck in restaurant pic
Dawson County Emergency Services crews work to remove a Dodge Dakota from the dining area of Wendys on Thursday afternoon. - photo by David Renner Dawson Community News

Dawson County emergency personnel responded to reports of a vehicle entering a local restaurant shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday.

Wendy's, located in the Kroger shopping center on Ga. 400, had a white Dodge Dakota in its dining area when emergency personnel arrived on scene.

According to Dawson County Emergency Services Deputy Chief Tim Satterfield, the vehicle reversed from a space in the parking lot and drove into the building.

No diners were injured during the crash, according to Dawson County Emergency Services.

"The passenger and driver of the vehicle were not injured that badly," Satterfield said. "We evaluated them at the scene. No transport was needed."

Employees said that the impact was sudden and without much warning.

"I was taking an order and I had just finished up with hers (the driver) and suddenly I heard tires spinning, it sounded like she was trying to stop the truck," said Melody Sammons, a drive-through employee at the restaurant. "The truck sounded like it just wouldn't stop."

According to Georgia State Patrol Spokesperson Robin Stone, the driver, Laurie Petter, 67, of Cumming, said that the vehicle accelerated for unknown reasons and that she was unable to stop the car.

"I went to the front and saw bricks fly into the dining room and everyone was screaming," Sammons said. "There was a truck in the dining room and a hole in the wall and stuff hanging from the ceiling."

County inspectors were called to the scene, as well as Wendy's corporate contractors, to evaluate the damage.

"The vehicle went through the window area, so no major building supports seem to be damaged," Satterfield said.

Wooden supports were placed in the window area that was damaged, and the drive-through reopened later that afternoon.

According to GSP, no citations were issued for the incident.