OAKLAND PARK, Fla. – Two people were injured when a driver crashed her SUV through the front of an Oakland Park pizza restaurant early Thursday morning.
The woman slammed through the glass window of Downtown Pizza Grill after losing control of the vehicle around 12:30 a.m., according to Oakland Park Fire Rescue battalion chief Joe Roma.
An engaged couple who was waiting inside the restaurant for their food had to be hospitalized. Pietro Leone told Local 10 News that his first instinct was to push his fiancé, Felicia Nesbitt, out of the way.
"I heard the engine rev and everything just slowed down. I knew that I had to protect my fiancé at all costs," said Leone. "I didn't care if I had to put my life in danger. Instead of her getting hit, I got hit."
Leone ended up becoming pinned between the SUV and the restaurant's counter. When he returned to the scene, his chest was bandaged over bruises and cuts from broken glass. Nesbitt had to have 11 staples put in her arm.
"She could have killed us," Leone said of the driver, who was not hurt. "I could've had worse injuries than I do. ... Honestly, I thought I was going to die."
The driver was seen sitting in the back of a deputy's vehicle with curlers in her hair. It is unclear if she will face any charges.
Downtown Pizza Grill, 906 NE 62nd Street, is usually open until 4 a.m. A man who was waiting to pick up a pizza said he watched as the woman drove through the restaurant.
"I heard an engine go flat-out full speed ahead and watched the car go through the window, never tried to stop, never hit the brake," said Paul Aaronson.
"It's unbelievable. It looks like it happens in slow motion," said Aaronson. "You don't even have a chance to blink. Shows you how precious life is."
The restaurant was secured within hours, but it remains unclear when it will reopen.