HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Calvin Rahman said he and his girlfriend were eating outside on Tuesday night in downtown Hollywood when a woman crashed into the restaurant’s outdoor dining area.
“She comes right up on the curb, smacks that table. When she smacks the table, she comes out. The lady is screaming ... she looked like she was about to take off and run,” Rahman said.
According to Hollywood police spokeswoman Deanna Bettineschi, the driver was heading east in the alley located between Harrison Street and Hollywood Boulevard before turning onto South 20th Avenue.
Bettineschi said the driver then lost control of the vehicle and struck several pedestrians around 8:45 p.m.
Four people, including the driver, were injured near the intersection of Harrison Street and South 20th Avenue.
Rosemary Villaram is one of the three pedestrians badly hurt in the horrifying crash.
She said her friend was pinned between the SUV and a palm tree.
“She was under the car and I was trying to stand up to help her but I can’t,” said Villaram. “And this lady in the SUV was speeding through the ally.”
Witnesses told Local 10 News the driver was coming down the ally and made a right turn into oncoming trafic and a fire truck that was heading northbound on 20th Avenue.
“It tried to turn to avoid the fire truck and it overcompensated and ran up on the curb and that’s when it struck the table,” said Villaram.
Neighbors said first responders from the same fire truck immediately started treating the victims.
The driver remained at the scene.
“The lady in the SUV got out, you know, holding her head,” said Villaram.
Bettineschi confirmed that one of the victims was transported as a trauma alert to Memorial Regional Hospital.
Traffic homicide detectives are investigating the incident.
No other details were immediately released.
Villaram says her friend is in an induced coma at the hospital and lost both of her legs. She wants the driver held responsible.
“That girl needs to be arrested,” she said. “Have to.”
The City of Hollywood told Local 10 News that the restaurant that this happened outside of, The Bang Shack, did not have a permit for outdoor dining.
They have applied for the permit and submitted paperwork and payment, but the permit remains under review, according to the city.
A spokesperson for the city said it is city engineers who review permit applications and that they would take into consideration what happened in this incident when making their determination.
Local 10 News Assignment Desk Editor Guadalupe Monarrez contributed to this report.