Lehigh Valley

Victim ID'd in deadly crash outside Ritz Barbecue in Allentown

Shirley Dengler was pinned against building by car, officials say

Victim ID'd in deadly crash outside Ritz Barbecue

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The dining room of the Ritz Barbecue restaurant was closed Monday, but the takeout window was open, not only receiving orders but condolences placed at Sunday night's point of impact.

"Just kind of a shock to all of us. She was a regular, and we knew her," said Selena Cruz, an employee.

Around 6:30 p.m., an 85-year-old driver pulled out of his parking spot near the restaurant, made a U-turn and hit Shirley Dengler before driving into the building, police said.

Dengler, 82, of South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, was pinned against the wall and died. The driver, his wife and the first woman who was hit were taken to the hospital.

"Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. That far up in the curb like that. Oh my gosh," said Cynthia Dawson, a customer.

The Ritz's owner said he's too emotional to comment, but Dawson said she sympathizes with the family.

"It's a terrible accident. Could happen to anybody," she said.

Residents of Dengler's apartment building said the woman lived alone and kept to herself.

Dengler's daughter said the mother of three and grandmother of four loved Ritz's  black diamond steak and playing bingo throughout the area. 

For employees like Cruz, images of the apparent accident will stay long after the investigation concludes.

"I'm sure anyone who comes here to eat will be on the lookout because it could have been anyone of us," Cruz said.

Police have not released the driver's name. As of Monday afternoon, no charges had been filed.

Ritz's dining room will be open Tuesday.

DISCLAIMER FOR COMMENTS: The views expressed by public comments are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the TERMS OF USE  and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Your comments may be used on air. Be polite. Inappropriate posts or posts containing offsite links may be removed by the moderator.

Allentown, PA 18102




  • %

This Week's Circulars

Latest from the newsroom