The Blue Beacon restaurant and lounge in South Aberdeen suffered major structural damage after a patron rammed his truck into the south side of the building Monday evening.
“I’m just grateful nobody was killed,” said owner Charlotte Grimblot.
According to Grimblot and other witnesses, the man was seated in the lounge and had ordered and eaten $50 worth of food and drank two beers before heading into the south parking lot of the lounge. A bartender could hear the man’s pickup revving up loudly and went outside to tell the man to stop. When she re-entered the lounge, the man pulled his truck into a different parking spot behind the building, this time facing the lounge entrance, and began loudly revving the engine again. The bartender again went into the parking lot to get the man to stop when he drove into the building.
The damage was extensive. The bar back where the cash register is located was pushed nearly entirely into the bar itself, a space the bartender had vacated mere moments before the crash. Recently honored firefighter of the year, Capt. Steve Davis with the Cosmopolis Fire Department, had just been delivered his dinner when the crash occurred. Fortunately, he was not seriously injured. His dinner remained scattered around his overturned stool Tuesday afternoon. There were no other reported injuries.
After ramming the building, the man parked his vehicle behind the Beacon and ran across South Boone Street into a wooded area behind the 7-11 and the World of Weed marijuana shop. According to Aberdeen Police Lt. Kevin Darst, officers were unable to locate the man, but were given his identification by other Beacon patrons, who said the man, while not disruptive, was acting oddly and speaking somewhat aggressively into his cell phone.
His name was traced to a Montesano address. When police contacted the man, identified by the Aberdeen Municipal Court as 39-year-old Kyle Deitrick, he attempted to lie to officers about his whereabouts earlier in the day and was eventually arrested and booked into the Aberdeen City Jail on a charge of hit-and-run, “unattended.” He was arraigned Tuesday morning.
Grimblot said the restaurant and lounge will be closed until the building is structurally safe. She expects the restaurant to reopen fairly soon, but the lounge — which bore the brunt of the wreck — could be out of commission for some time.
“This place has been here 60 years and nothing like this has ever happened here,” said Grimblot. On Tuesday she was still trying to absorb what happened and surveying the damage, which also included refrigeration units and the cabinets on the east end of the building, where the wall was obviously buckled from the impact.