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Van crashes into restaurant during busy lunch hour

Van crash
Posted at 9:53 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 23:12:26-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A van barreled into a busy restaurant Wednesday afternoon in the University area of Tampa.

ABC Action News has learned, about 30 people were inside First Watch, located off Fowler Avenue when a van crashed through the front window of the restaurant.

We’re told the driver hit the wrong pedal and accelerated into the building.

Manager Matthew Bruch said a group of customers had just walked away from a table by that window moments before the van crashed into the building without warning.

“It’s been a constant thought in my mind of what could have happened,” said Bruch.

Bruch said about six people were standing by the front door, diving for safety with seconds to spare.

“There’s a lot of things I’ll be sure to talk to the man upstairs tonight when I go to bed and say thank you for that and this is something I will not surely forget anytime soon.”

According to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, five people were hurt but none suffered serious injuries.

The driver was not injured, according to officials on the scene.

“I would say it was chaotic,” said witness Alex Coss. “People really scared, not knowing what had happened.

The restaurant will have to undergo extensive repairs.

Staff members hope to reopen by this weekend’s busy Mother’s Day holiday.