Hummer slams into restaurant, explodes

May 5, 2016 8:06 PM by News Staff

Four people have been taken to the hospital after a sport-utility vehicle crashed in front of a Tysons Corner restaurant and caught fire.

Fairfax County fire and rescue chief Richard Bowers said Wednesday (05/04) that none of the injuries appears to be life-threatening.

Bowers did not know if the people injured were all in the car or may have been patrons of the restaurant. Officials say one of the injured people was the driver of the vehicle.

The crash occurred Wednesday afternoon on International Drive in Tysons Corner in front of a Silver Diner restaurant.

Reporter Scott Broom confirmed the driver of the SUV is an employee of the Silver Diner, who's been on bereavement since April 5, 2016.

Watch the dramatic cell phone video, shot by Janey Watkins.

"All of a sudden, this guy goes wham into the building," said witness Janey Watkins.

Watkins' video shows the seconds after a Hummer rammed the Silver Diner, backing up and ramming it again. Heroic bystanders rush to help a man who was hit by the Hummer, he is dragged away.

The vehicle burst into flames, with the driver still behind the wheel. More heroics as bystanders faced the fire, got the door open and pulled the man out.

"Yeah, he was fighting, 'leave me alone, leave me alone. Get away from me,’" Watkin said.

Janey Watkins said he did not want to be helped.

"And they got him, drugged him out, he was fighting, he didn't look like he was all there," she said.

By the time it was over, one man was taken to the Washington Hospital Center Burn Unit. Two other men were rushed to Fairfax Inova Hospital. And a woman who was slightly injured was treated at the scene. Investigators are using the video and witness accounts to piece together what happened. They are drawing no conclusions yet about a cause or a motive.

Janey Watkins, niece Michelle Wright, says there's no doubt in her mind that this was an intentional act.

"That's what was going through my mind. It was something being done deliberately."

"It's horrific,” she said. “It's just ... I was just ... we were just coming out to get something to eat and all this unfolded before us."


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