WINONA - Both people killed in the Winona fatal crash on Sept. 21 have been identified.
According to Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 Mitch Shamburger, Dhaval Ajay Bhatt was the driver and Subrahjit Paul was the passenger killed when the car they were in crashed into a recently-opened restaurant in downtown Winona on Sept. 21.
Bhatt was identified through dental records.
The car crashed into Uncle Mike's Pizza & Pasta, igniting a large structure fire. The restaurant and the apartment where three family members stayed above it, were destroyed.
The restaurant has been a dream of Shawnda and her husband Mike since they were teenagers. They had been working towards this dream for over 30 years. The family used their savings and borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars to make their dream come true. The restaurant opened just six days ago.
Shawnda said it took less than two minutes for her to realize their dreams went up in flames, losing priceless memories in the process.
Pictures from their time in Okinawa, Japan, a 100-year-old violin that belonged to Mike's grandfather, and her grandmother's pictures to name a few. They also lost some of their four-legged friends…
When the fire began Shawnda grabbed the puppies that were born just 5 days ago, running outside, and calling for her other dogs to follow. Four dogs never made it out of the building.
The family, grateful they still have each other, and hoping to be able to live their dreams once again.
Shamburger stated that both people died from blunt force trauma.
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