ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH, La. (WGNO) — What seemed like a regular day for Middendorf’s restaurant employee Kiley Ingram turned into an opportunity to assist those involved in the multi-car crash on I-55 that left seven dead on Monday, Oct. 23.

Once she heard she had an opportunity to assist those involved in the incident, she didn’t hesitate.

“When we saw the school buses of people out front, we said we are going to open the doors, we’re going to let them come in, use the restrooms, and get out of the heat,” Ingram said

“The sheriff’s department brought out the waters and pizzas, and we served the people because obviously our kitchen was closed. We just had to give them a safe place to wait it out until the roads opened and their loved ones could pick them up because obviously they had lost their vehicles on the bridge,” Ingram said.

Since this act, many people have gone online to thank the employees for taking the time to help those in need.

“We’ve had several people reach out on Facebook and via phone to us, just saying they appreciate how much we’ve done for everybody and that we didn’t have to do that,” Ingram said.

However, the story has been different inside the restaurant.

Since the road closures and construction, business has been difficult, as there are fewer people passing by to eat.

Middendorf’s front-of-the-house manager Deedee Holt said that the restaurant is “extremely slow.”

“Half of this restaurant is closed today. We’re at, what, 30% capacity for now? It’s very, very slow today. The weekend, our deck will be closed, so a little shoutout for the guys that like to go to the deck for the weekend. It’s gonna be closed because there’s just not a lot of business,” Holt said.

The restaurant has no plans on temporarily closing, and they plan to make a new plan every day to accommodate customer needs.

“Day to day. We’re always going to be here. We just don’t know how much is going to be open. We will accommodate as much as we can,” Holt said.

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