Parents of man killed when minivan ran into restaurant file suit

Two people wee hit when this van crashes into Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Cobb County on Feb 6, 2015.

Credit: Justin Crate, WSB-TV

caption arrowCaption
Two people wee hit when this van crashes into Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Cobb County on Feb 6, 2015.

Credit: Justin Crate, WSB-TV

Credit: Justin Crate, WSB-TV

The parents of a 19-year-old man killed last month when a minivan plowed into a Cobb County restaurant where he was eating are suing the driver of the vehicle, the restaurant and the property owner.

Ellenwood and Thomas Barton, whose son, William, died in the crash Feb. 6 on Barrett Parkway, are suing driver Carol Shipley, 67; Blazin Wings, the company doing business as Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant; and MRK Barrett Creek, the company that owned and operated the retail center where the restaurant is located.

William Barton, of McDonough, a student at Kennesaw State University, was eating with his roommate when he was struck, his father told Channel 2 Action News after the incident. He was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital, but died from his injuries.

Cobb County police said a 2014 Chrysler Town and Country minivan driven by Shipley was pulling up to a parking space when it went into the building, hitting Barton and restaurant employee Lindsey Terronez, 22, of Marietta, who was injured but survived.

Shipley, of Woodstock, was not charged, Cobb police Sgt. Dana Pierce said, because investigators determined it was an accident, and because it occurred on private property.

The suit says Shipley “negligently” operated the van, driving it over the curb and through the front of the restaurant.

It says Blazin Wings and MRK should have provided protection such as barriers to guard against a “foreseeable” hazard like a storefront crash.

“This is about raising awareness of a risk the industry knows about,” said the Bartons’ lawyer Andrew Ausband. He said the number of fatalities and injuries resulting from vehicles crashing into buildings is significant and that relatively simple measures such as the installation of various types of barriers can help minimize the risk.

Attorneys for the defendants could not immediately be reached for comment.