MIAMI (WSVN) - Five people were injured after, police said, a driver who experienced a medical emergency careened into the dining room of a restaurant in Miami with two children on board, sending the driver and three women to the hospital.
City of Miami Police and Fire Rescue units responded to the scene of the crash at Don Camarón Seafood Grill & Market near Northwest Fifth Street and 37th Avenue, Friday evening.
At around 6:30 p.m., investigators said, the driver went into a side parking lot of Casino Miami and sideswiped a parked vehicle. The motorist then ended up in the parking lot of Don Camarón before slamming into the front of the business.
Diner Isa Cespedes said the sound the car made was deafening.
“I thought it was a bomb or explosion, because we just saw the smoke, and the glass just went flying,” she said.
The customer said she and her husband, Julio Cespedes, were having dinner just feet from where the four-door sedan plowed into the building.
Julio said he grabbed Isa and rushed her to safety before he went back in to help.
“I pulled the first two ladies from the bar. They were bleeding and screaming,” he said. “I didn’t relax until I saw a little boy crying, ‘My father had a heart attack,’ and then I saw the car.”
Officials said the driver of the car was trapped inside the vehicle. Crews were able to pull the motorist and the children out.
First responders treated the children at the scene, but they were not seriously hurt.
Julio said he and others helped free a woman who was pinned to a wall.
“She was bleeding through the mouth, so I started asking for people to help me out while I put my back to the wall and I pushed the counter, and we pulled her out,” he said. “At the time, she was not doing really good. I thought she was dead. She looked really bad.”
“It was very scary because the lady went like that, and she got pinned. Honestly, I thought she was dead,” said Isa. “She’d lost consciousness, so she was just staring.”
Paramedics transported two of the victims to Ryder Trauma Center and the other two to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s emergency room. They are all listed in stable condition.
Cameras captured the driver being wheeled into the hospital accompanied by two children.
7News learned that the woman who was pinned to a wall was a server at the restaurant.
Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll said, had the driver not sideswiped a vehicle before crashing into the restaurant, the outcome could have been much different.
“Had that vehicle not veered off into the vacant lot, had it not struck a vehicle that may have slowed it down a little bit, this could have been a lot worse,” he said.
Isa and Julio admitted they are very lucky, and they’re thankful everyone made it out alive.
“You realize how fragile life is in a situation like this, and everybody reacts differently,” said Julio. “A lot of people ran out; others ran back in to help.”
The car has since been removed from the restaurant, as crime scene units comb through the wreckage inside.
The five injured people taken to the hospital are expected to make a full recovery.
The driver that had a heart attack will not be facing charges.
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