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Prison expected in high-speed Gettysburg buffet crash

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
  • Li's Buffet at 165 York St. in Gettysburg reopened for business on New Year's Day, the assistant manager said.

A Franklin County man who crashed into a Gettysburg restaurant nearly 10 months ago — reducing part of the building to rubble — is expected to serve prison time.

Carmelo Juan Dominguez, 28, of Waynesboro, pleaded guilty Thursday in Adams County Court to the third-degree felony of causing an accident involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed, as well as the summary offense of driving with a suspended license, according to court records.

Li's Buffet at 165 York St. in Gettysburg was badly damaged when a car crashed into it about 2:45 a.m. Friday, Sept. 2, 2016.
(Photo courtesy of Steve Roth / 911 Photography)

His negotiated plea agreement calls for him to serve three months to 23 months and 29 days in Adams County Prison, to be followed by two years of probation, according to assistant district attorney Megan Zei.

Dominguez was the only person hurt in the crash, she said, and his injuries required him to be flown by medical helicopter to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Sentencing is set for 8:30 a.m. July 20, according to Zei.

91 mph crash? The crash happened about 2:45 a.m. Sept. 2 at Li's Buffet, 165 York St., Gettysburg borough manager Charles Gable has said.

Dominguez was trapped for about 90 minutes before he could be extricated, according to Gable.

Authorities work at the scene after a car crashed into Li's Buffet at 2:45 a.m. in the 100 block of York Street in Gettysburg Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. Steve Roth/911 Photography

An ambulance crew tending to Dominguez inside the vehicle reported that the vehicle's speedometer was stuck at 91 mph, according to Gable.

"The building was vacant at the time of the accident," Gable said in September. An apartment on the second floor was not occupied at the time, and no one from neighboring buildings was displaced, he confirmed.

That entire section of York Street — which is Route 30 — was closed for nearly 10 hours, officials have said.

Official: High-speed crash damages Gettysburg restaurant

On Friday, Gable said employees of Gettysburg's Public Works Department cleaned up debris on the sidewalk and built a retaining wall for safety until the building was repaired.

Up and running: Li's Buffet reopened for business on New Year's Day, according to assistant manager Jim Li.

Authorities work at the scene after a car crashed into Li's Buffet at 2:45 a.m. in the 100 block of York Street in Gettysburg Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. Steve Roth/911 Photography

He said construction crews were able to save what remained of the building and repair it.

The crash caused the building's second floor to collapse and the roof to hang down, Li said.

"Later on, we found out there was also damage to the foundation," he said.

After about four months of construction work, the buffet-style restaurant was back up and running, Li said.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twittter at @LizScolforoYD.