Fiery crash closes Black Bear Diner

Damage may take days to repair

Fiery crash closes Black Bear Diner for days

YUMA, Ariz. - It could be a few days before customers of Black Bear Diner can enjoy their famous meatloaf and cherry pie again.

Wednesday evening an accident ended dinner early, and forced guests and workers to evacuate.  

A car crashed into an Arizona Public Service (APS) transformer right outside of the restaurants' front door. 

The car and transformer both went up in flames as bystanders captured video of the unexpected accident.

Thursday, the diner is still without power. The company says its electrical box is completely destroyed.

Jolisa Johnson, VP of Marketing & Communications at Black Bear Diner said, The car actually crashed into the transformer [which belongs to APS]. But what happened is [the fire from the crash] blew our [electrical] box. So we’re trying really hard to get our doors back open. Indeed, we will not be back open for the weekend. We’re working really hard to make next week happen.

Black Bear Diner hopes to be back open on Monday, but management told News 11 all it depends on how soon they can find parts to replace the electrical box.

APS confirmed, once the diner replaces the box, it’ll be able to restore power.

In the meantime, the company will allow employees to pick up shifts at their other locations.

Paramedics took the car's 43-year-old driver to Yuma Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police confirm he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.

No word yet on if he'll be facing any criminal charges.



A car crashed into a power transformer along 16th Street and Pacific Avenue causing it to burst into flames knocking down power to surrounding businesses, Wednesday.

The Yuma Fire Department (YFD) said firefighters quickly extinguished the vehicle fire, but due to the transformer still being energized the Arizona Public Service (APS) was called to cut the power before the fire could be extinguished. 

An estimated 30-40 gallons of oil leaked from the transformer, spreading the fire to the restaurant's electrical box and flowing into the parking lot.

The restaurant was evacuated and closed for the evening.

YFD said after APS personnel arrived at the scene, the power was shut off to the transformer and the electrical box.

The fire was quickly extinguished and the driver of the single-vehicle involved was treated at the scene and transported to Yuma Regional Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.

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