It’s Been 15 Years Since a Lubbock Restaurant Collapsed During Lunch
Fifteen years ago on March 20th, 2006, I was performing my duties as my high school golf team's manager on a day where wind gusts over 80 miles per hour. Needless to say, the golf wasn't going great, but it was a minor issue compared to what was happening several miles away at a Little Panda restaurant in Lubbock, Texas
Leading up to that Monday in March, a group of friends and I went to Little Panda every single Monday for lunch. Starting all the way back in August when school had started and for the following eight months, we ate at Little Panda on Slide Road. Then, while me and my friends were at the golf tournament and unable to be at Little Panda, the building collapsed.
After the collapse, there were six ambulances and 45 firefighters who responded to get everyone out of the rubble. The collapse was concentrated in the dining room, so none of the staff was injured.
Sadly, there were people in the building when it fell, including 23-year-old Tara Wilson, who died, and nine others who were injured.
The terrible accident, described by one Lubbock TV station as a "lunchtime tragedy," spawned several lawsuits and made others with the same style of building as Little Panda do some serious renovations.
If you don't remember or weren't living in Lubbock at the time of the accident, the building was an old Taco Bell, complete with the bell-shaped wall across the roof.
The building was later demolished, and eventually the lot was turned into a Dollar General I think, but it's been a long time.