SAN JOSE, – Two people were in critical condition Monday after being injured when a man drove his SUV into an outdoor dining room, hitting a pedestrian and several diners in northern California, authorities said.
Eight people were taken to hospital with injuries rated as serious to minor after Sunday’s crash. The conditions of the other six injured were not immediately known, the San Jose police sergeant said. says Christian Camarillo.
Officers first said the 69-year-old driver may have been in medical distress before the crash.
A mile away and less than six hours later, a man was fatally injured near a food truck in a parking lot when a woman accidentally stepped on her pickup truck’s accelerator pedal instead of the brake. He died early Monday, Camarrillo said.
Some restaurants have set up tents and tables in parking lots or closed streets due to indoor dining restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Witnesses said screams followed the crash on Sunday at the Grand Century Plaza parking lot restaurant in East San Jose and people quickly tried to help the injured.
“The noise when (the 4Runner) passed was like a huge squeaking noise from all the tables and everything getting stuck underneath,” John Brown, who worked at a nearby political booth and saw the crash , told the Mercury News. “It was so quick that a lot of people didn’t react at first.”
Buck Suggs, 54, of San Jose, who also worked at the booth, said he saw the vehicle parked in the parking lot directly in front of the outdoor dining area. Suggs said he heard the engine revs and the tires squeak, then saw the 4Runner – smoke billowing from its tires as it crossed a two-lane highway and a median of traffic – before crashing in the dining room.
People could be heard shouting “get out of the way” before a loud crash noise, he said.
Hours later, a woman trying to park her van in the parking lot of La Placita Tropicana shopping center applied the accelerator instead of the brake and crashed into a food truck, hitting a man, Camarillo said.
The man died of his injuries in hospital Monday morning.
This story has been corrected to say that a man, not a woman, was driving in the crash involving outdoor diners, and one fatality occurred in another crash near a food truck , not in the dining room.