Truck smashes into Lower Merion deli

Workers began clearing debris Thursday morning after a truck crashed into Hymie's Merion Delicatessen.
Workers began clearing debris Thursday morning after a truck crashed into Hymie's Merion Delicatessen. (CAROLYN DAVIS/ Staff)
Posted: August 31, 2013

Hymie's Merion Delicatessen had good luck and bad luck Thursday morning.

The bad luck came in the form of a Dodge Ram pickup truck that crashed through the front wall, on the dining-room side, of the popular Lower Merion Township restaurant. The good luck was that the accident occurred an hour before opening time, so no diners were there and all the employees were in the other half of the restaurant.

No one was injured except the driver, who one witness said was bleeding from his face. Lower Merion police said Narberth Ambulance took him to Lankenau Medical Center, where he was being treated for minor to moderate injuries.

Police gave no other information on the driver, except to say no charges had been filed as of Thursday afternoon. The cause remains under investigation.

Employees were inside preparing food on the deli side of the restaurant when the truck, which was traveling west on Montgomery Avenue, crashed into the restaurant at 5:47 a.m., according to Hymie's surveillance camera video.

"We were all working, having a good time, when we heard a loud bang," manager Harry Zeisler said. "I thought it was a bomb going off, and then all of a sudden there was smoke. It was very terrifying."

Zeisler said his and other employees' first concern was to see if anyone was hurt. No pedestrians were on the sidewalk, but Zeisler saw the injured driver get out of the truck and told him to sit down on a nearby bench.

Employees called 911, but a fire truck from a nearby station was passing by, and they flagged it down.

Although the restaurant was closed Thursday, Hymie's owner Louis Barson said the plan was to clean up, board up the window and wall that were smashed, and reopen Friday for business and to get ready for next week's Jewish New Year holiday, which generates a lot of business.

By 9:30 a.m. Thursday, six employees from Belfor Property Restoration, an Exton business, were cleaning the dining room and readying the large hole to be boarded up pending a permanent fix. Cars driving on Montgomery Avenue and pedestrians slowed down to take a look at the cleanup.

Barson already had a public-relations slogan in mind for letting customers know the deli had bounced right back from the accident, a twist on the Jersey Shore's rebuttal to Hurricane Sandy.

Said Barson: "We're stronger than the truck."

Contact Carolyn Davis at 610-313-8109,, or @carolyntweets on Twitter.

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