Owner of Roselle pizzeria dies after van crashes into restaurant
The 53-year-old owner of Acuna Pizza in Roselle has died from injuries he suffered when a van left Irving Park Road and crashed into his namesake restaurant, authorities said.
Owner Custodio "Gus" Acuna was inside the restaurant when the Ford cargo van plowed through the entrance about 3 p.m. Wednesday, authorities said.
Acuna, of Streamwood, was rushed to Alexian Brothers Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 5:40 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. His death was ruled an accident.
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of owner and chef, Gus Acuna. Our small pizzeria has come a long way from when we first opened doors on July of 2010," a statement on the restaurant's Facebook page said. "It began with Gus dreaming of providing something better for our family and the residents of Roselle. He led by ambition and by taking risks. Demonstrating that hard work pays off in the end."
Family members told ABC 7 Chicago Acuna worked in restaurants his whole life and saved his money to open Acuna Pizza a few years ago. They said he was a married father of three.
The statement said the restaurant's future plans are unknown, but thanked customers for their support.
Roselle police are investigating a possible "medical emergency" that may have led the 40-year-old driver of the van to veer off the road and crash into the pizzeria at 342 Irving Park Road, Deputy Chief Roman Tarchala said. No charges or citations had been filed as of Thursday.
"This is definitely a tragic event," he said.
Two other people inside the restaurant suffered minor injuries, fire officials said.
The DuPage County Accident Reconstruction Team is helping police with their investigation into the crash.
• Daily Herald staff writer Melissa Silverberg contributed to this report.