Ten people injured in car crash at Las Vegas restaurant, authorities say

Firefighters examine the scene of an accident where a car crashed into a crowded restaurant on Monday, April 1, 2013, in Las Vegas
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

(CBS/AP) LAS VEGAS - Authorities said 10 people were injured during lunch hour on Monday when a car plowed through a restaurant's patio near the Las Vegas Strip.

Firefighters had to extricate four people, including a boy, from beneath a Lexus sedan after it crashed into the Egg & I restaurant on Sahara Avenue, several blocks west of the Las Vegas Strip, witnesses said.

The injured were taken to two hospitals, and some were hurt seriously, said Las Vegas fire spokesman Tim Szymanski.

Suziliene McDonald said she was sitting with two sisters in the restaurant when she saw the vehicle speed toward the window.

"I screamed, 'A car's coming!' and it exploded through the window," McDonald said. "The motor was still revving and the dust came right after it, just like in the movies."

McDonald said two men inside the vehicle sat for a moment and then tried to run. Several men jumped over a short wrought-iron fence and caught them to hold them until police arrived.

"He kept saying he blacked out," McDonald said of the driver. "But he was awake when he ran from the car."

Police said the driver would probably face felony reckless driving charges. A passenger in the vehicle was not charged with a crime.

McDonald, an executive with a nonprofit trauma and counseling agency in Las Vegas, said she began assessing people's injuries before paramedics and police arrived. Two girls appeared to have been cut by flying glass, she said. One woman with a broken leg asked where her purse was.

McDonald said the car balanced on a patio chair over a woman who lay on her stomach, bleeding, with the car and a chair atop her. The woman's son was stuck in a crouching position beneath the car near her.

Manager Sarah Gehringer said the restaurant may have had 150 people inside and on the patio before the crash.

One of the injured was a restaurant employee who was standing near the window when the car burst through. Gehringer said he was knocked into the kitchen by the force of the crash and was hospitalized.

Police said the Lexus was heading westbound on the busy thoroughfare when it hit at least two other vehicles before veering across a median toward the restaurant.


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