ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Two people remained in critical condition on Saturday among the more than a dozen who were injured after a vehicle crashed into a northern Virginia pub and restaurant, according to authorities.
The crash at the Ireland’s Four Courts establishment in Arlington, which happened early Friday evening, also caused a fire that was quickly extinguished, media outlets reported.
Authorities said nine people in all were taken to hospitals, including the two in critical condition, while six others were treated at the scene and released, according to the Arlington County Police Department.
Arlington police said a preliminary review shows the vehicle’s driver was working as a rideshare driver and had a passenger at the time of the crash. They said the driver ran off busy Wilson Boulevard, about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) from the District of Columbia line, and into the restaurant. The driver and passenger were among those taken to hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries, a police news release said.
Mary Reilly, who works at the pub, said she was in the back of the building when “we all heard a bang, an explosion, so I just turned around and I saw all the debris coming towards the back of the pub."
About 30 patrons and staff members were in the pub at the time, and as “pure panic broke out,” Reilly said, people rushed out the back. Law enforcement officers at the scene evacuated people and provided emergency care.
“Undoubtedly, the decisive actions of the arriving officers to run directly into the building and remove patrons saved lives,” Arlington County Police Chief Andy Penn said.
While the building remained structurally sound, it can't be immediately reoccupied, the news release said.