A FAMILY has been left devastated after a rogue driver ploughed into their restaurant before fleeing the scene.

African Taste in London Road, Westcliff, has been left wrecked following the crash, which happened in the early hours on Saturday.

But loyal customers have launched a fundraising campaign to help the family-run firm get back on its feet.

Essex Police said a car crashed through the front of the restaurant at around 5.30am following which the driver left the scene.

A spokesman for the force said: “We were called with reports that a gold Lexus car had been in collision with the front of a restaurant on London Road.

“The driver was reported to have left the scene following the collision.

“Officers arrived and closed part of the road for a short time, whilst the car was recovered.

“No arrests have been made and no injuries have been reported. Enquiries are ongoing.”

A fundraising page has now been set up to help raise £2,000 for the family behind the business, who have now been left with no income.

It has been set up by Charley Avis, who said the family have three young children and while insured they need support for the immediate future.

She said the family have been supportive of many people and the crash has left them devastated.

She wrote: “An irresponsible driver crashed into the front of family-run restaurant African Taste in the early hours.

“The family have three small children and need to get their small business back up and running as soon as possible.

“This place is a safe place for many people, the food is loved by many and a lot of people use this place to relax and unwind after a long day at work.

“I’m asking that you donate a couple of pounds towards damage costs for a family that have always been there for every one of their customers.”

To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/f/save-african-taste.

Witnesses or anyone with information should call police on 101.

People can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or visit their website at crimestoppers-uk.org.