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Two Women Injured When Driver Plows Into Diners On Outdoor Patio In Downtown Evanston

EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) -- It was a terrifying lunch hour for some in downtown Evanston on Tuesday, as a car plowed into diners sitting outside at a café.

As CBS 2's Jim Williams reported, regular customers at Aloha Poke, at Orrington Avenue and Davis Street, were sitting enjoying a meal as usual around 11 a.m. when a car hit the curb.

"It appears they were sitting there eating lunch, and the car somehow lost control – police are investigating – and ended up striking two people," said Evanston Fire Department Battalion Chief Dan Lynch.

The workers at Aloha Poke were preparing meals at the time. They were startled by the sound right outside the restaurant.

"I just saw a few of the customers run out, and all of a sudden I see this car, and two women on the ground," said employee Claire Price.

The two women were the restaurant's customers.

"They were literally talking about how our food very good," said employee Jailene Ceeda.

The women had just been served and were eating outdoors when the driver of this car jumped the curb, knocked over a traffic sign, and barreled deep into the plaza. Both women were hit.

"One of the girls was sitting like right around here, and another one was laying beside the car," said Price, adding that the car ended up coming far up from the curb onto the plaza.

It happened during the lunch hour at a busy downtown Evanston intersection.

"I was feeling like shocked, you know," said Aloha Poke employee Miguel Galvez.

The victims – one 19, the other 20 - were conscious, the restaurant workers told us. A photo shows the workers trying to help the women before they were rushed to the hospital, with the remnants of their lunch scattered on the ground.

Car Into Evanston Dining Patio
(Credit: Miguel Galvez)

"I was sad for those girls," Galvez said. "You know, they were eating, enjoying the food, you know – and that was pretty bad."

Police said the driver of the car is a 33-year-old Chicago woman who has been given traffic tickets.

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