At least eight people were injured Sunday afternoon when a two-car collision sent a van hurtling into a group of people dining at a popular local restaurant in the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood of Los Angeles, police said.
The driver of the van, who police said caused the collision when he blew through a red light, was arrested after allegedly attempting to flee on foot, said Los Angeles Police Sgt. C. Barlow. Bystanders detained him less than a block away.
“He didn’t get very far at all,” Barlow said. The man, who was not immediately identified, was booked on suspicion of felony hit and run.
Witnesses described a dramatic scene outside The Fish Spot on Pico and Redondo boulevards, where shortly before 4 p.m. the van plowed through a white picket fence into several tables of diners.
Some people were lying with broken limbs, while another bled profusely from his head under pieces of furniture and fencing. Neighbors rushed out of their homes, some bursting into tears when they saw what happened. Bystanders were running around and screaming.
“It was scary and sad to see the people in pain,” said 15-year-old Andy Hernandez, who rushed to the restaurant on his skateboard after hearing a loud boom. “It was shocking.”
Five men and three women — ranging in age from 18 to 51 — were taken to a hospital, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
A 44-year-old man was in critical condition, while a 30-year-old man and two women, ages 18 and 28, were in serious condition. The four others who were hospitalized were in fair condition, fire officials said.