Providence restaurant to re-open following crash

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The El Chapin restaurant in the Capital City is expected to re-open Saturday, after a van crashed into the Plainfield Street business Monday night.

Police tell us the driver Michael Ducharme, 56, was high on drugs at the time of the crash. They say the driver was unconscious behind the wheel so emergency workers administered Narcan. Ducharme refused to give a blood test and was charged with driving under the influence. He’s due in court April 11.

Elizabeth Morales, the wife of El Chapin’s owner, says the people were asking when the business would be back open.

“A lot of people [called] us,” Elizabeth Morales says. “The community is concerned about that.”

On Monday, Eyewitness News spoke to the owner’s son at the scene of the crash. He says his family was five tables away from the crash.

As of Saturday, a wall separates half of the restaurant, which means they can only hold about 40 customers.

Reconstruction is set to begin next week.

Morales tells Eyewitness News she does not know how long it will take to reopen the restaurant completely, but she’s happy no one got hurt in the crash.