By Assunta Ng
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
A car plowed into Dim Sum King in Chinatown on Oct. 22, breaking its storefront and knocking down a meter and street sign on the sidewalk. The exact number of people injured has caused a discrepancy between its owners and the police. Also, some assumed the most seriously injured person was a customer.
According to a Seattle Police report, the number of injured people is seven, and the other media also took that information for their stories. Dim Sum King owner Amy Eng disputed that number.
“Three people were injured and not seven,” said Eng, who has based her information on her restaurant’s video cameras. There are four surveillance cameras at her restaurant, three on the outside and one inside. Her whole family has reviewed the videos numerous times, and they solved another mystery.
As of press time, Harborview Hospital said, “one male remains at Harborview in satisfactory condition and three others have been discharged.”
Eng said one of four in the hospital was her staff member, who was released shortly after arriving. The staff told Eng that other than her swollen leg caused by a dim sum cart that hit her leg, the X-ray showed that she was fine.
At the time of the accident, two staff members worked at the counter and seven people were inside the kitchen, including Eng’s husband. There were four to five customers in the restaurant.
The other two seriously injured was a woman who was pinned behind the car’s body.
She was able to free herself. The third was a man lying under the car and whose leg was sliced with broken glasses from the restaurant’s shelf. He had surgery the same day. What the Eng family had discovered was, the injured man was not one of the customers. He was a pedestrian walking with his wife, passing by the restaurant. His wife was not hurt. She was pleading for help to free her husband underneath the car.
Cause of the accident
The female driver of a Toyota Camry was parking her car. Seattle Police said she accelerated backwards, over the sidewalk and smashing into Dim Sum King’s entrance.
The police found a translator for the driver. Eng said she was thankful that no one died and all have insurance, including the driver.
Dim Sum King is located in a corner storefront of the Bush Hotel owned by the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation District Authority (SCIDpda). SCIDpda boarded up the storefront, and will help to rebuild it. Inside the restaurant, everything was crushed including a counter shelf, six tables, and 26 chairs. Eng said she doesn’t know when the repairs would be done or the date of reopening. She hopes it will happen soon even though her insurance agent told her that her loss of business would be covered.
When the community heard the news, customers rushed to Dim Sum King. They showed their support by buying everything over the weekend. Its inventory was sold out in one day with fans buying boxes and boxes of cold dim sum from the restaurant’s freezers.
When the accident happened, Eng’s staff, who was literally shaken, called her at home. “Big disaster!” she said. Eng was wondering what that could be?
A few days ago, Eng watched on television how two separate accidents of a car plowed into an outdoor dining area of a dim sum restaurant, and another one on a street food vendor, in San Jose. Both accidents killed at least one person. Little did she know it would happen to her restaurant days later.
All three accidents have one thing in common, the driver had accelerated the car instead of stepping on the brake while parking.
Assunta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.