Van out of control plows into a crowded Los Angeles restaurant, injures 9 people
Nine people have been injured on Sunday afternoon after a van crashed into a crowded restaurant in the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood of Los Angeles.
The driver of the van, who police said caused the collision when he blew through a red light, was arrested after allegedly attempting to flee on foot, Los Angeles police Sgt. C. Barlow said. Bystanders detained him less than a block away. “He didn’t get very far at all,” Barlow said. The man, who was not immediately identified, was booked on suspicion of felony hit and run.
The van plowed into the crowd at 5055 W. Pico Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Overhead footage from a news helicopter showed a white van that apparently knocked down a white picket fence around the outdoor dining area of a restaurant — known as The Fish Spot — before coming to a stop on a sidewalk.
Several people were lying with broken limbs, while another bled profusely from his head under pieces of furniture and fencing. Residents rushed out of their homes, some bursting into tears when they saw what happened. Bystanders were running around and screaming. “It was scary and sad to see the people in pain,” said 15-year-old Andy Hernandez, who rushed to the restaurant on his skateboard after hearing a loud boom. “It was shocking.”
In total, nine people were injured and taken into hospital, including the driver, who sustained minor head injuries. Shortly after 10 p.m., Los Angeles authorities said everyone injured in the crash was expected to survive. “There’s nothing life-threatening,” Barlow said.
Although horrific, the crash is actually a result of a traffic accident. Minutes prior to the crash, one vehicle drove through a red light, causing two other vehicles to collide in the intersection and send the van flying towards the restaurant .Los Angeles Police spokesman Josh Rubenstein confirmed the crash appeared to be an accident, adding that there was no indication the driver intentionally drove into the crowd.
However, witnesses reported that soon after the crash, the driver attempted to get back into his van and drive away. Fortunately, bystanders caught him and held him until authorities arrived. He was taken to the hospital but may be charged for felony.