Community comes together after car smashes through beloved family deli in Delaware County

Loyal customers of Bocella’s Deli in Havertown are rallying around the family who has owned it these last 15 years.

Surveillance video showed the terrifying moments an SUV slammed through the front of the deli last week. Police said the driver is an 82-year-old woman. 

Owner Young Park said video shows the SUV on Eagle Road driving into the parking lot and then crashing into the business. He believes the driver meant to step on the brakes, but instead hit the accelerator.

Young was inside with his wife Suzy Park and three other customers during the impact. He said the phone was ringing and that turned out to be the saving grace. 

His wife stepped away from the front desk to answer the phone, which is when the vehicle came crashing in, destroying that area.

"She used to be right in the middle of the cash register for like 99.9 percent of the time. Only that split-second she stepped aside to take the [phone]," said Young. "Meaning if she was there then… that’s why it’s thank God."

Young is also recovering from this traumatic event. He realizes a life could’ve been taken, including his wife’s, but he won’t bring himself to say the words and is instead counting his blessings.

Surveillance video also shows the customers were just one step away from being directly hit.

"I’m not going to really hurry up with the reopening because [Suzy] needs to take time to calm down," said Young.

It may be another month or so before the family reopens Bocella’s Deli. Young said he’s planning on reinforcing stronger security barriers around the business. 

Young and his brother have been assessing damages and the loss of inventory and expects costs to be well over $100-thousand.

Behind the scenes, a GoFundMe campaign was created for the family. The deli’s loyal customers and neighbors have raised thousands of dollars to help Suzy, Young and the rest of the family.

"[Suzy] was crying, and I was almost crying too. I’ve got a lot of support from my community and my customers," said Young.

As the clean-up continues, loyal customers continue stopping by to show the family support.