NEW YORK – Sotirios Drivas, known to his friends as Sotiri, would have been 79-years old on January 29, but on January 26 – two days after Storm Jonas passed through, he become one of eight people reported to have died in Central Pennsylvania from snow-related causes.
On January 29 he was driving on Interstate 83 around noon when he stopped and got out of his car to inspect a flat tire. The driver’s side was still on the highway due to piled up snow and Drivas was struck by a tractor-trailer truck,
The coroner’s office said he died from impact. “York County Coroner Pam Gay determined that Drivas had died due to multiple blunt force injuries,” PennLive.com reported.
He owned the Two Brothers Italian Grill and Bar in Newberry Township but on Tuesday he was on his way to help his son Tom, who owns Nittany Pizza in the Queensgate shopping center.
Drivas was born in 1937 and emigrated to the United States in 1964. He and his wife, Magdaline, have two sons, Tom and George and their seven grandchildren range between five and 25 years of age.
He volunteered every year at the festival of the Annunciation Church in York, PA, where he was instantly recognizable from his handlebar mustache.
He loved Greek food – his favorite dishes were orzo, avgolemono, and lamb, and
Tom Drivas said his father was always helping people and called him “the hardest working man I’ve ever met.”
The family restaurant opened in the early 1980s and Drivas was there seven days a week from “open to close,” driven by his “desire to provide.”
“He used to tell me stories of poverty in Greece…Stories of not having anything and going hungry,” Tom Drivas told PennLive.
With a heavy accent Magdaline expressed her love and her grief: “He was very good to me… He was very good.”
“Magdaline, who has battled health concerns, said her husband was healthy, and it was she, not him, who the family expected to have passed first,” PennLive reported.
They fell in love after they were introduced by relatives in Greece.
Tom Drivas told PennLive the family will take comfort in their faith. “Sotirios is Greek for salvation,” he said.