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4 people hurt after car crashes into Crystal Lake restaurant

Four customers hurt when car plows into Crystal Lake restaurant
Four customers hurt when car plows into Crystal Lake restaurant 02:23

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (CBS) – Four customers in a Crystal Lake restaurant were hurt Thursday evening when a driver smashed into the building.

As CBS 2's Marissa Perlman reported, a man having dinner with his wife saved her life when he pushed her out of the way – but he then ended up pinned under the car.

Late Thursday, a boarded-up window covered the damage from the crash. Inside, glass and broken tables littered the ground.

Now, the investigators are looking into why that car ended up inside.

Police arrived around 5:30 p.m. after the car crashed into the Buffalo Wings & Rings at 1520 Carlemont Dr. in Crystal Lake.

Police said a Nissan Altima was traveling westbound in the parking lot and for unknown reasons, when attempting to park, the driver came up over a sidewalk and stuck the building.

Cellphone video from employees inside Buffalo Wings and Rings shows the Nissan sedan inside the middle of the Buffalo Wings & Rings. Chairs and table were left smashed to pieces – as sports games went right on playing on TVs mounted overhead.

Injuries range from minor to serious.

"It's so odd to see just a car in the middle of a restaurant, with like piled-up tables on either side of the car," said Bridget Vertis.

A gaping hole was left behind as the car was hauled out of the restaurant.

It was not clear late Thursday exactly why the driver plowed into the building.

Vertis works part-time at the restaurant, but was at the Monster Ink tattoo parlor next door with her fiancé when the crash happened.

She was inside the Buffalo Wings & Rings just 10 minutes before the crash.

"We heard what sounded like thunder," Vertis said.

"Just heard a loud bang – didn't really quite know what it was," said Colin Casprak.

"My first thought was, I mean, I want to make sure my coworkers are okay," Vertis continued.

Vertis said no one working at Buffalo Wings & Rings was hurt. But customers eating inside were.

We spoke with a friend of a victim off camera, who said his friend was eating inside the restaurant with his wife.

That man pushed his wife out of the way, and was pinned underneath the car. It is believed he broke both of his legs.

"Whatever happened, a lot of speed to go through that wall – and then to go through all those tables," said Casprak.

"It's sad," added Vertis. "It really is."

What caused the crash remained under investigation late Thursday. The driver was not hurt.

We did get in touch with the family of the owners of the restaurant, who said they have no comment at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crystal Lake police at (815) 356-3620.

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