Police: Carpool driver driving vehicle that crashed into Arlington restaurant

Arlington, Virginia police are investigating how a rideshare driver crashed his vehicle into a restaurant in a busy courthouse area Friday night, injuring at least 15 people.

A car crashes into a restaurant in Arlington, Va., Friday, August 12, 2022.

WTO/David Dildine

Firefighters and police are investigating a fire caused by a car that crashed into a building on Friday August 12, 2022.

WTO/David Dildine

At least four people were seriously injured after a car slammed into a building Friday night in Arlington, Virginia.

OMCP/Kyle Cooper

Police told OMCP the crash happened on North Courthouse Road and Wilson Boulevard at Ireland’s Four Courts restaurant just before 7pm.

OMCP/Kyle Cooper

Arlington, Virginia police are investigating how a rideshare driver crashed his vehicle into a restaurant in a busy courthouse area Friday night, injuring at least 15 people.

At around 6.45pm on Friday, Arlington County Police were dispatched to the Four Courts of Ireland area in the 2000 block of Wilson Boulevard following reports that a vehicle had crashed into the restaurant, it said the department in a press release.

Upon arriving at the scene, police said they helped customers evacuate the building and began providing medical attention moments before the vehicle caught fire in the restaurant. The fire was quickly extinguished by the Arlington County Fire Department.

“Without a doubt, the decisive actions of the officers who arrived to run directly into the building and evict the patrons saved lives,” Arlington County Police Chief Andy Penn said in a statement.

Later Friday evening, the building housing the restaurant was determined by engineers to be structurally sound despite the damage, but unable to be inhabited at this time.

A Launched the GoFundMe page on behalf of the restaurant raised $28,000 in less than 24 hours.

An initial investigation into the accident “indicates that the driver of the vehicle, who was operating as a rideshare driver and had a passenger at the time of the incident, was traveling north on N. Courthouse Road when he left the roadway and crashed into the restaurant,” the statement read.

Both the driver and passenger of the rideshare suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to hospital.

Police say a total of nine patients have been hospitalized. Of these, two remain in critical condition, one is in serious but stable condition and six have been treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Arlington Fire and EMS said in a Friday night update that six other people were treated at the scene but were released.

Mary Reilly, a waitress working inside the restaurant, told Kyle Cooper of WTOP that the accident felt like “an explosion”.

Doug Samuelson of Annandale, who was in the area when the accident happened, told Dave Dildine of WTOP it sounded like a “truck crashing into a building”.

The flames, Samuelson said, were about 12 to 15 feet high and there was an acrid smell.

The police do not yet know why the car crashed.

Arlington Fire and EMS said building engineers assessed the building and found it “structurally sound, but could not be reoccupied.”

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