OKLAHOMA CITY – Jaswant Singh has owned Pizza Planet, located on N.W. 16th St. and May Ave., for two years.
Now, he is assessing the damage left behind after a driver of a cargo van crashed through the walls of his business on Monday night.
“I heard everything. I thought it sounded like a bomb in here or something,” said Singh.
According to the police report, 27-year-old Ashley Bassham dropped her phone while behind the wheel.
When she went to grab it, she drifted out of her lane and over the curb on the southwest side of May Ave. before careening into the Pizza Planet.
“All of a sudden, she comes through the building and she knocked everything down,” he said.
Nobody was eating inside the restaurant at the time but 46-year-old Michael Youngs was standing in the parking lot when the crash happened.
“He bought a new car, and he was coming to say hi to us. He came in to say, ‘Hi Paul. I bought a new car,'” Singh recalls.
A former delivery driver and friend of the owners, Youngs went outside to check his phone.
Moments later, the van crashed into the building, crushing Youngs under heavy concrete and bricks.
He was rushed to the hospital but later died.
“Thank God we got saved, and I feel really sorry for the guy, you know,” Singh said.
Solid N Stripes is across the street from the pizza parlor and they say this particular intersection is a problem.
“You hear tires screeching all the time,” J.D. Long, with Solid N Stripes, said. “People going through here go way too fast at all hours of the day especially at night.”
Bassham was not cited for the incident, and it’s up to the district attorney if any charges are filed.
However, residents have advice for anyone who becomes distracted behind the wheel.
“Whatever it is, is not important enough to take your eyes off of the road because this is the kind of thing that can happen,” Long said.
The investigation is still ongoing.