Driver hits 2 pedestrians, crashes into Adams Morgan restaurant, officials say

By Ruben Castaneda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 9, 2010

Two young women were seriously injured Wednesday night in the District's Adams Morgan neighborhood when a vehicle struck them at a busy intersection and then crashed into a restaurant as bystanders looked on, District authorities said.

The two pedestrians apparently were on a traffic island waiting for the light to change when a driver heading south on 18th Street NW struck them as she tried to turn left onto U Street, said Obispo Gonzalez, a worker at a nearby restaurant.

One of the women was in potentially life-threatening condition, said Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the D.C. Fire and EMS department. Both were taken to hospitals; the second woman was in serious condition, Piringer said.

A witness said that, after striking the women, the vehicle crashed through the front window of the Keren Restaurant at 1780 Florida Ave. NW, near 18th and U streets NW. The window was destroyed, and part of the vehicle appeared to be inside the building.

A couple of people were inside the restaurant at the time, but no one there was injured, Piringer said.

Gonzalez said the force of the collision knocked the two pedestrians, said to be in their 20s, at least 30 feet. They ended up two storefronts away from Keren, he said.

Daniel Mesifeni, who owns a restaurant across from where the women were apparently struck, said he was inside his business when "I heard a boom! I was thinking two cars collided."

The driver of the vehicle was not injured, Piringer said. Video from the scene showed the woman being led in handcuffs into a D.C. police car late Wednesday night.

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