Van plows into din­ers on side­walk

The Maui News - - TODAY’S PEOPLE - By DAMIAN DOVARGANES and DAISY NGUYEN The As­so­ci­ated Press

LOS ANGELES — The driver of a van that plowed into a group of peo­ple din­ing on a Los Angeles side­walk, strik­ing and in­jur­ing at least eight peo­ple, was ar­rested Sun­day on sus­pi­cion of hit-and-run, au­thor­i­ties said.

A wit­ness said that the van jumped a curb and ca­reened into a group of peo­ple eating out­side The Fish Spot restau­rant in the city’s Mid-Wil­shire neigh­bor­hood. The ve­hi­cle knocked down a white picket fence that served as a bar­rier be­tween din­ers and pedes­tri­ans on the side­walk.

“Every­one was eating, en­joy­ing life and out of nowhere this van ran them over,” Court­ney Crump said.

He said that sev­eral vic­tims were pinned un­der the van as pan­icked wit­nesses rush to pull them out. A man who was the first per­son struck by the van had se­vere head in­juries, Crump said.

“I heard loud, ag­o­niz­ing screams. I’m shook up,” he said.

The vic­tims in­cluded a 44year-old man who suf­fered crit­i­cal in­juries, three peo­ple who were se­ri­ously hurt and four others who were taken to the hos­pi­tal in fair con­di­tion, Los Angeles Fire Depart­ment spokes­woman Mar­garet Ste­wart said.

A pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­di­cates the driver ran a red light and col­lided with an­other car, po­lice Sgt. C. Bar­low said. The im­pact of the crash caused the van to run off the road and onto the side­walk.

The driver came out of the van and ap­peared dis­ori­ented, Crump said. He jumped back into the van, prompt­ing wit­nesses to hold him un­til au­thor­i­ties ar­rived at the scene.

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