HENRYVILLE, Ind. (WHAS11) -- The owners of Budroe’s Restaurant in Henryville knew they had to reopen after the deadly March 2, 2012, tornado destroyed much of their business.
“You can’t sit around and mope," said co-owner Sherman Sykes.
He recalls seeing a tornado heading toward the restaurant and hearing debris flying through the air. Nine people were inside at the time and headed to the basement just as a school bus barreled through the front portion of his restaurant.
“You can’t describe that. Who’d ever think there’d be a bus in your dining room?" he said.
Just moments before, surveillance video shows 11 students getting off the West Clark Community Schools bus – the driver deciding to return to Henryville Elementary School. Sykes, a tough as nails Vietnam veteran, chokes up about what could have been a different outcome.
“I see those kids come out of that school and nobody got hurt. But, it’s hard to talk about it because you hear the tornadoes and people getting killed and stuff flying through the air and everything. Nobody got killed. It was just unreal," he recalled.
“Got a lot to be thankful for," said Maureen Williams. She's the restaurant’s co-owner.
She lived through the experience and said it was the community’s support that made her decide to rebuild. It took five months, but the restaurant, under the new appropriately named ‘Budroe’s Bus Stop’, reopened. Reminders of what happened years earlier hang on the walls.
“We’re just not quitters. Got to keep going," Williams said with a smile.
It's a true testament, Williams believes, to the will of the people who did not want her to close. Sykes has no plans to retire.
“Henryville has big hearts; big hearts and everybody just hung together. We helped everybody. That’s the way it’s got to be," he said.
The restaurant reopened the same day construction at the schools was completed.