Driver Jumps Curb, Hitting Outdoor Diners

Police call crash killed 2 and injured 8 an accident
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2022 4:35 PM CST
Driver Jumps Curb, Hitting Outdoor Diners
Fire and EMS Chief John Donnelly talks to the media across the street from the Parthenon after an SUV rammed into the restaurant on Friday.   (AP Photo/Carole Feldman)

A driver apparently lost control of his vehicle on a busy Northwest Washington, DC, street on Friday afternoon, jumping the curb and hitting people having lunch outside a Greek restaurant. Two of the diners were killed, KABC reports, and eight others were taken to hospitals. Police did not identify the driver but described him as an older man who was alone in the SUV, per the Washington Post, and said it does not appear he hit the restaurant intentionally. He was cooperating with the investigation, police said Saturday.

The vehicle sped through a parking lot and up and down Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase, witnesses said, before veering into the Parthenon restaurant. "It was going super-fast, like police-car fast," said a woman who was nearby. A restaurant manager said the man at the wheel "looked like he was confused as to why he couldn't stop," adding, "I saw the car hop the curb and start plowing everything in its way." A crowd rushed over to help lift the SUV off people.

Police said other drivers nearby reacted quickly, per the New York Times. "They honked their horns," a commander said. "They flagged the officers down, and we were able to get here right away." Terese Dudnick Taffer, 73, and Jane Bloom, 76, both of whom lived in the area, died at a hospital. The injured range in age from 30 to 80 years old. (More car accident stories.)

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