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Several Hurt, Including 2 Children, After Car Slams Into Outdoor Dining Structure In Midtown

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Nearly a dozen people were hurt, including two children, after a multi-vehicle crash sent debris flying through the air during the Friday morning commute in Manhattan.

The crash happened around 8:30 a.m. at the corner of Second Avenue near East 50th Street in Midtown, but the scene remained active Friday evening, CBS2's Kiran Dhillon reported.

Surveillance video caught the moment a white van heading sound on Second Avenue reared into a black Toyota Camry between East 51st and East 50th streets.

The impact caused the Camry to spin out. The car nearly hit pedestrians before it rammed into an outdoor dining structure.

The van made it another block before it slammed into a food stand on East 49th Street.

car into outdoor dining
Several people are hurt, including two children, after a multi-vehicle crash sent debris flying through the air during the morning commute in Manhattan. (Credit: Blank Slate Restaurant)

"It was chaos. A lot of people started running towards the van to pull out the driver. They couldn't do it right away, but after some time they could do it," said the owner of a bodega across the street.

The crash woke several neighbors.

"We heard the sirens all morning. My son said he woke up and heard like a boom, like a bomb, or someone falling from a building and screams," another person added.

"It sounded, I would say, like a big dumpster dropping... just bang," said another.

Police said about 10 people, including the driver of the van, occupants of the Camry and pedestrians, suffered minor injuries. Many were hurt after they were hit by debris, including a 5-year-old boy and a 7-year-old boy.

A restaurant owner whose business is right in front of the scene said one of his employees heard a loud bang and rushed out to help.

"He came right out, he called 911. Luckily, no one got hurt. We had people seated in all these little huts. Luckily, just some debris made it over here, nothing more than that," Zach Israel said.

The owners of Crave Fishbar did not want to comment, but many neighboring businesses said they feel for the owners. They're glad everyone is OK, but worry the crash my deter people from wanting to dine outside.

"I think this is a bit of a wake up call. People are going to say, especially on big avenues where people really go faster, it might be a little more of a scare," said Paolo Del Gatto from Socarrat Paella Bar.

"People are going to be scared to sit outside now. That's going to be detrimental to the business," said Edder Vazquez from Pescatore Restaurant.

Police said the 66-year-old driver of the van suffered a medical emergency at the time of the crash. Sources told CBS2 the driver also suffered a seizure when he was being questioned by officers.

The crash is being investigated as an accident.

CBS2's Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report.

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