Car Crashes into Casa Nostra Patio in Palisades Highlands

Palisadian Wendy Windebank and a friend were having lunch at Casa Nostra in the upper Highlands on Sept. 13, around 12:30.

They thought about sitting near the window for the view, but it was too sunny and they moved over one table. That decision might have saved their lives.

After ordering their lunch, they were engaged in conversation. They noticed two young men at the table next to them who appeared to be admiring the view.

Then, “a Lexus crashed through the hedge,” Windebank said, noting that it was the noise that got everyone’s attention. “We knew it wasn’t a hurricane or an earthquake.”

A car shot out of the parking lot into the Casa Nostra patio, resulting in damage to the Highlands restaurant. Photos: Wendy Windebank

The car knocked through the patio wall and shot about six feet into the restaurant, striking the table next to them. “Both young men jumped away from the table,” Windebank said.“ The guy nearest us, his face was covered with shards of glass and there was blood.”

Firefighters and paramedics arrived, but “luckily no one was seriously injured,” Windebank said.“ It could have been really awful.”

Apparently, the driver who was in the parking lot had put her foot on the accelerator rather than the brake. She escaped injury.

A car shot out of the parking lot into the Casa Nostra patio, resulting in damage to the Highlands restaurant. Photos: Wendy Windebank

“She was a lovely lady and distressed by the accident,” Windebank said.“ It was such an unfortunate freak accident.”

She added, “I hope locals will support Casa Nostra during reconstruction. We love the restaurant, staff and food.”

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