Zucco Leeds: Head chef of restaurant destroyed in overnight horror crash praises "phenomenal" support of Leeds residents
The head chef of a Leeds restaurant which was smashed into by a driver in a 3.30am horror crash has praised the "phenomenal" support of residents who have helped raise more than £1,500 for the owners.
Jack Richards, 28, has been the head chef at Zucco on Meanwood Road for the past three years.
He awoke this morning to devastating pictures of the crash aftermath - in which the driver of a white BMW smashed through the front glass of the restaurant.
A police investigation is now underway into the circumstances of the crash.
A man, who is believed by police to be the driver, was taken to hospital as a precaution but did not have any injuries.
Officers are asking for anyone with information or dashcam footage which could help with enquiries to make contact.
Jack has now set up a fundraiser to support his bosses who have been left devastated by the crash just days after they reopened.
Speaking to the YEP, Jack said the reaction has been "phenomenal" - with more than £1,500 raised on GoFundMe in a matter of hours.
He said: "I’ve been working here almost three years now as head chef.
"The reaction to the fundraiser has been phenomenal to say the least so far, I knew we’d have support as so many people was asking for us to set a donation page up but our owners really didn’t want to, hence the reason I did it myself.
"They deserve it, they’re not just our bosses, they’re like family to all of us."
A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said police were called to the crash at around 3.30am on Tuesday morning (May 25).
Their statement continued: "A man, believed to be the driver of the vehicle, was taken to hospital as a precaution but was not injured.
"An investigation into the circumstances of the collision is being carried out.
"Anyone who was in the area with information or dashcam footage which could aid the police in their enquiries is asked to make contact."
The restaurant took to its social media page at around 5am to report that a car had driven "straight into the restaurant".
Owners told customers that the restaurant was likely to be "closed for the foreseeable future" while the damage is repaired.
In a further update at 7am, the team at Zucco said it "breaks their hearts" to see the restaurant like this after just being able to reopen, but "luckily no one was hurt".
Zucco later told the Yorkshire Evening Post that it will "be back open soon hopefully, it's just horrible timing".
Zucco's initial Facebook post said: "To all our customers, a major car crash has happened on Meanwood Road and unfortunately a car has drove straight into the restaurant, we’re likely to be closed for the foreseeable future while we get this sorted. We’ll provide more information when we know more."
This was followed by: "It breaks our hearts seeing the restaurant like this after just being able to reopen but as you can see there’s been a big crash into the front of our restaurant, luckily no one was hurt but it looks like we are going to be closed for a while again... We promise we’ll be back as soon as possible but as this has never happened to us before we have no idea when #drivesafe"