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March 11, 2022

Woman arrested after crashing her car onto roof of Central Pa. Chinese restaurant

Theresa Risso, 43, is accused of driving erratically at a high speed with her one-year-old daughter in the back seat

Odd News Crashes
Shamokin Dam Roof Crash Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Theresa Risso, 43, has been arrested after she allegedly crashed her SUV onto the roof of a Chinese restaurant in Shamokin Dam, Snyder County last week while her one-year-old daughter was in the car

U.S. Marshals have arrested a Selinsgrove woman who crashed her car into several vehicles and a restaurant in Snyder County last week.

Theresa Risso, 43, was charged on Thursday with endangering the welfare of a child, aggravated assault with a vehicle, causing or risking a catastrophe, driving under the influence and other offenses.

The incident occurred at the Golden Chopsticks Chinese restaurant on Route 15 in Shamokin Dam shortly before 6 p.m. last Friday. Risso was allegedly driving erratically at a high speed with her one-year-old daughter in the back seat before hitting three other vehicles, a pole and a concrete barrier, investigators said.

The vehicle then lost a tire, slammed into a van parked outside the restaurant and went airborne before landing on the building's roof.

Police and bystanders rescued the infant from the roof as the car caught fire, authorities said. The blaze was eventually put out and the driver was rescued. The restaurant has been condemned due to the damage it sustained in the crash, the Daily Voice reported.

Investigators said Risso had a blood-alcohol level of .327% when tested after the accident, which is more than four times the legal limit.

Risso was arrested in Lackawanna County after the Shamokin Dam Police Department announced criminal charges against her on Thursday, Chief Tim Bremigen said.

Police documents say five people were brought to the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville after the accident, including Risso, her daughter – who was uninjured – and James Haught. Haught was in the parked van outside the restaurant with his wife Chiristine Haught, who was also uninjured.

“All I can remember is seeing flames from his side of the van," Christine Haught told Penn Live. "I was hysterical. I screamed. I had to get him out. I tried to help him out but he kept saying to go.”

Her husband suffered a broken back, ribs and a shoulder blade and had bleeding in his brain. He was initially listed in critical condition, but has since been moved to a rehab unit.

Risso was also initially in critical condition but was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday. Bremigen said she will be arraigned on Friday afternoon.