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Victims Who Were Dining When A Car Plowed Into Them Speak Out

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – You've seen the incredible video of a car driving right into a group of people eating at a Miami sidewalk café.

Now for the first time, some of the victims are telling their stories.

One man, who did not want to be identified, was one of several people dining outside Café Lemoni on NE 2nd Avenue at 46th street a week and a half ago when a driver veered off the road and into several dining tables.

CLICK HERE to watch Summer Knowles' report

"When I was on the ground all I knew was something really bad had happened," he said. "It kind of looked like a bomb had just gone off because there was dust and broken glass everywhere.  All I know is when I got up and looked over I heard kids screaming."

This man was one of ten people rushed to the hospital. He says it was disappointing and upsetting to find out the restaurant didn't have permits for outside dining and that where they were sitting, according to the city, was illegal.

"I mean I don't feel as though anything the owners did anything malicious," he explained. "I understand they want to expand their restaurant, but it did make me a little angry when I realized had they followed protocol all of this could've been prevented."

Paola Saralegui was sitting outside with her family at the time, and was one of ten people rushed to the hospital.

"My kids were crying like crazy and so scared and my face was bleeding so they were more scared to see mummy's face bleeding," said Saralegui.

She said it was days later, while she was in the hospital, that she saw the surveillance video for the first time.

"When I saw the video like two days after I started crying like crazy," said Saralegui. "I couldn't stop watching the video and honestly I'm still watching it sometimes and I can't believe nobody died but yeah, it was the worst day of my life."

With a broken rib and a black eye, Saraleugi is still badly bruised but alive and counting her blessings, especially after deciding to switch seats with her two and four year old.

"I'm so happy I switched my kids to the other side of the table because the accident happened fifteen minutes after I'm glad that I was there and not my kids cuz the car hit me on my back and they are smaller so if it hit me here it would've probably hit them in their head," she said.

Since the accident, the restaurant has not had any dining tables or chairs outside.

It is still unclear if the Department of Code Enforcement has given any citations.


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