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Man drives car at least 50 feet through Trailhead Pizzeria in Bloomington


Debris sits in front of a counter Sept. 1 in Trailhead Pizzeria. “It was really kind of special,” owner Mark Bell said, when discussing the destroyed mosaic artwork on the front of the counter. Alex Deryn

A man drove into Trailhead Pizzeria in Bloomington around 5 a.m. Sunday, shoving picnic-style tables at least 50 feet into the building — the second time the family-owned restaurant has been hit by a car in seven years.

“The whole front basically exploded,” General Manager Jenny Bell said. 

The man suffered a seizure while driving a Chevrolet with his wife and two dogs on State Road 446, owner Mark Bell said. 

The car drew dirt tracks across the floor. Glass pieces lay around the room, and mints littered the back. One ceiling fan’s blades were bent. Another’s light hung tilted. 

No one was taken to the hospital, Bell said. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bell covered the open front with a tarp to make it less distracting, he said. He expects to wait until Tuesday to begin cleaning up because of Labor Day. 

“It couldn’t happen at a worse time,” Bell said. 

Trailhead Pizzeria used to be an archery range, Bell said. His family remodeled in 2011 and opened the restaurant in 2012. The pizzeria is beloved by locals. 

Bloomington residents David and Benna Tate saw the accident on a Facebook post and were two of several residents to stop by Sunday afternoon. 

David Tate said they normally eat at Trailhead Pizzeria on Friday nights, when they can listen to a live band. 

Bell said he plans to transfer employees from Trailhead Pizzeria to Scenic View, his family’s other restaurant, while rebuilding.

The first time the pizzeria was hit, a man drove about six feet into the restaurant at 2 a.m., Bell said. It took nearly a month to rebuild. 

Bell said he expects this time to take longer. The damage is more extensive.

He said he hopes the forced remodel will improve the restaurant. He wants to make the kitchen larger and more efficient.

“It’s an opportunity to get better,” Bell said he told his kids. 

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