Crash damages Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield
WEST BROOKFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A popular wedding venue in Worcester County is still picking up the pieces after a car crashed through the landmark business a week ago.
Repair work is ongoing at West Brookfield’s famous Salem Cross Inn. Exactly one week ago, a car drove off of West Main Street and crashed into the business’s reception barn. In pictures obtained by Western Mass News, the incident left a hole right through the front of the structure.
West Brookfield Police Officer Craig Charron was in the center of town when this happened and arrived at the scene within thirty seconds.
“I observed that the vehicle had gone through the front doors of the barn and was stopped at the back wall and the room was full of smoke from the tires squealing on the floor,” Charron explained,
Police said the driver passed out as the car veered off the road, with the vehicle hitting a boulder in the driveway before crashing into two pillars and the barn’s front doors. Tables and antique collectibles inside were thrown all over the place in the aftermath. One of the inn’s chefs, Patrick Carroll, thought he heard an explosion.
“It was a pretty horrific noise. I initially was going to head down to the mechanical room because that was what my feeling was what had occurred and then I heard noise coming from the barn, at which point I proceeded to the barn,” Carroll noted.
A bride, her father, and a couple of bridesmaids were inside the barn at the time. One of the owners, Martha Salem-Leasca, told Western Mass News the father acted quickly just in time.
“Her dad looked up, thank God, and saw the car coming, pushed them out of the way. I’m sure adrenaline kicked in, so everybody was safe,” Salem-Leasca said.
Charron is grateful the situation was not worse.
“The driver was able to walk and talk and explain what actually had happened. I’m thankful no one else was more seriously hurt,” Charron noted.
As for the business, there will be no public dining until the barn is repaired. A tent is currently set-up outside the venue for future events. Salem-Leasca hopes to have the barn repaired in the next couple weeks and said the show must go on.
“We’re here to make sure that the people who come here are happy and we have to do what we have to do…We’ve had people come out of the woodwork to offer help in many ways. The community is a good community,” Salem-Leasca explained.
“I think adversity will bring out the best, which is certainly the case here. We have a job to do. I play one small role in a bigger picture and I think that’s the general attitude around here,” Carroll added.
Outside of no public dining for the time being, the Salem Cross Inn will continue to hold weddings and other functions. As for the crash itself, that remains under investigation.
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