HUNTINGTON — Nick Husson, of Husson’s Pizza, said he is hoping for a late March re-opening of his business’s Huntington location, which was damaged when a car crashed into the building following a police chase last week.
Following the morning crash, the business was closed due to the damage it sustained. Emergency responders said no one was inside at the time. The second floor of the building, which is owned by Marshall University, was also empty.
“I have little details at this time, but I don’t think there was a lot of structural damage to the building itself,” Husson said on Monday.
On the morning of Jan. 6, Tanner Austin Miller, 24, of Huntington, was spotted by Huntington Police driving at about 9 a.m. when officers tried to stop him around 17th Street and 9th Avenue due to active felony warrants.
Miller allegedly fled from the police before crashing into a pickup truck and driving through a large window on the 4th Avenue side of Husson’s, coming to a stop in the kitchen area, where the front end of his crossover SUV burst into flames.
After crashing into the building, Miller fled on foot before being caught by police, who said he had two active felony and misdemeanor warrants and will face additional charges related to the crash.
In addition to the damage to the building, Husson says there was lots of damage to windows, the drop ceiling, electric lines, plumbing and equipment inside the establishment. The restaurant also received extensive fire and smoke damage.
“Our ovens are gas ovens, but have electronic circuitry and I think it was all fried, but we will not know until we have power to turn them on and find out for sure,” he said.
Husson said the store has insurance, but he was not sure about the insurance status of the building owned by Marshall.
“Right now we are very early in the process,” he said. “The Health Department pulled our permits because everything will have to be re-evaluated before we are allowed to sell food again.”
Husson said the Huntington location is one of the company’s best performers.
“With its location by the Marshall University campus, it has always been a strong performer,” he said. “We will miss the sales on Valentine’s Day, which can be as (much) as an entire week. We are hoping for a late March, or early April at the latest, opening and I don’t think there is any chance that it would be earlier than that.”
Husson said the Huntington Husson’s Pizza is a franchisee location, owned and operated by a mother-and-son team.
“It’s my sister Christine Bsharah and her son George,” he said.
Husson said the company is very committed to the Huntington area.
“Huntington is a place we need to be and if not in that building then it will be somewhere else in Huntington,” he said. “We are very committed to having a presence in Huntington.”
Husson’s Pizza has 10 locations, including Huntington, with the next closest being in Scott Depot in the Teays Valley area of Putnam County.
For more information about Husson’s Pizza, visit www.hussonspizza.com.