Driver That Destroyed Ed's Chicken Gets Probation - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Driver That Destroyed Ed's Chicken Gets Probation

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Last August's fire at Ed's Chicken and Crabs (Photo: Dewey Beach Police) Last August's fire at Ed's Chicken and Crabs (Photo: Dewey Beach Police)

DEWEY BEACH, Del.- A woman who was driving a car that crashed into Ed's Chicken and Crabs, igniting a fire that burned the popular Dewey Beach restaurant down, has been sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay $241,000 in restitution. 

Michelle Small, 37, of Wyoming, Delaware, was sentenced Friday by Delaware Superior Court judge. She pleaded guilty in April to DUI and criminal mischief. 

Police said that on Aug. 9, 2016, Small lost control of her speeding car and plowed into the restaurant. Authorities say the crash severed a propane line and sparked a fire.

The restaurant, which had been at the same location for some 40 years, was destroyed. The owner has not rebuilt or reopened at another location.

Small could have gotten a maximum of two years in prison but Bradley ordered her to two years of probation. According to the Delaware Department of Probation, the second year of probation is for restitution only, meaning once the restitution is paid, that obligation is complete.

Of the $241,000 in restitution Small is required to pay, $65,000 will go to Ed’s owner Ed Riggin and $176,000 to the Catts family, which owns the building. Small was also ordered to pay a $500 fine. 

According to media reports, during Small's sentencing, Bradley said there was no point in giving her prison time because she demonstrated remorse, had no previous arrests and did not hurt anyone in the accident. 

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