Bessemer City Surf and Turf Lodge reopens after tragic crash that killed two

GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - The Surf and Turf Lodge opened its doors again Friday nearly one week after experiencing the worst. Bessemer City Police say on Sunday Roger Self drove his car into the restaurant, killing two of his family members and injuring others.

The community has been grieving since then, but are looking for a fresh start with Friday's opening.

It's been a long five days for the workers at the Surf and Turf. They've been cleaning and grieving all at the same time, but they say they'll be OK because they have prayer and each other's backs.

"We needed this to move on, to heal, to come together, to cry together, to have each other's backs," said Michelle McMahan, the owner of the restaurant.

For McMahan and the employees, it's finally time to reopen the restaurant's door for customers and pick up the pieces after going through something so horrible.

"We're so thankful that we're all here to hug their necks," McMahan said.

The hurt and pain come from an unthinkable attack. Officials say Roger Self killed his daughter and Gaston County Deputy Katelyn Self as well as his daughter-in-law Amanda Self when he drove into the restaurant. At the time, witnesses described the inside of the restaurant as a horrific scene, saying the place was a mess and people's clothes were stained with blood.

"This isn't anybody's fault," said long-time customer Wolf Wakinyan.

The Surf and Turf is more than just a place to eat, it's a place considered a staple within the community. Wakinyan waited outside for almost an hour before the reopening. He says his taste buds couldn't wait any longer for his favorite.

"Filet mignon," he said, "They make the best filet mignon."

And he wasn't the only one waiting.

"They were calling out their favorite menu items and we're so glad we're going to be able to eat our favorite chicken tonight," said McMahan.

The road to what's known as normal is only the beginning. It'll be a tough journey, but McMahan says she's happy she has the support from everyone around her.

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