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Tire tracks leading to the restaurant.

Aftermath of car crashing into Winona’s new Italian Restaurant, Uncle Mike’s Pizza and Pasta.

According to Trooper Jean M. Dark of the Texas Department of Public Safety, troopers responded early this morning (4:30 am) to a reported vehicle vs. structure crash on Hwy-155 at FM-16 in the city of Winona.  Preliminary crash investigation indicates the driver of the vehicle (unknown make or model) was traveling  north on Hwy-155 when for an unknown reason the vehicle crashed into a building and subsequently caught fire.  Due to the fire damage, identification of the driver, and passenger, as well as the vehicle has not been made and the crash remains under investigation.

Owner of the restaurant, Mike Ruesch, said that he and his wife were asleep in the building, and at about 3am the car crashed into it, causing the fire. Ruesch said that the couple had put all of their savings into their new and updated Italian Restaurant and it was going to be a total loss.

According to authorities, two people were killed in the blaze. Also Longview air apparatus was seen on site, along with more than 4 fire departments, including Winona, Red Springs, Big Sandy. Two bodies were unidentified at the scene, and identities will be revealed at the end of the investigation. More information will be released as it becomes available and is confirmed.