MADAWASKA, Maine — The restaurant at the Long Lake Country Club is closed down for several weeks after a car crashed into the clubhouse Sunday, causing extensive damage. While the clubhouse will be closed, the golf course will remain open for play.
Robert Pelletier, 58, who resides on Bai Creus Road in the Madawaska village of St. David, is charged with leaving the scene of an accident in connection with the single-vehicle accident at the Long Lake Country Club in St. David, according to Madawaska Police Chief Carroll Theriault.
Pelletier was driving south on Lake Shore Road sometime around 2 a.m. Sunday in his 2007 Ford Mustang when he apparently left the roadway, struck a culvert and crashed into the northwest corner of the country club, Theriault said.
The car destroyed two of the building’s restrooms and a supporting cornerpost in addition to destroying water pipes, which leaked extensively for hours after the accident.
Pelletier then allegedly fled the scene, leaving the vehicle behind, Theriault said. The accident was reported to Madawaska Police Department at about 6 a.m. Sunday
Pelletier initially claimed his car had been stolen, Theriault said, and reported the theft to the Maine State Police Sunday morning.
He later recanted that statement and confessed to the accident, claiming he had fallen asleep at the wheel.
“He had bruises on his face from the airbag and other injuries consistent with the accident,” Theriault said.
The car sustained around $10,000 in damage, according to Theriault.
Meanwhile, Al Hebert, owner of the Long Lake Country Club, said he is losing money every day his restaurant business is closed and his six employees are out of work for the time being.
“We are shut down for now,” Hebert said. “We have four-wheelers showing up left and right, and we’ve had to cancel reservations and turn people away [because] we can’t reopen with no restrooms.”
Among the events canceled are a popular Halloween party and upcoming auction.
Golfers are still welcome at the nine-hole course, Hebert said, but the restaurant and clubhouse facilities will not be open for use nor is there staff on hand to take tee-time reservations or greens’ fees.
“If someone wants to come play, the course is open and they can play for free,” he said.
Repairs to the building, which houses a restaurant and facilities for the country club’s golf course, will begin as soon as Hebert lines up a carpenter and other contractors, he said, adding the restaurant will probably be closed for the next 90 days.
Hebert said it is too early to estimate the monetary damage to his business.
“We had water running in here for about five hours,” he said. “I don’t even have a guess on how much money we are losing right now, but let’s put it this way, it will be a big number.”
The businessman is choosing to remain optimistic in the wake of the accident.
“I’m not hurt and the gentleman driving only has a few bruises,” Hebert said. “I pay insurance and he pays insurance — such is life. You can’t dwell on the past, you have to look forward.”
The accident remains under investigation by Madawaska police Officer Danielle Levesque.