Updated: Wednesday, 30 May 2012, 8:48 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 30 May 2012, 8:48 AM EDT
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Fort Wayne police are investigating an accident that sent an SUV into the Chipotle restaurant at the corner of Coliseum Boulevard and Clinton Street around midnight Wednesday morning.
According to police, witnesses told them the SUV was traveling south on Clinton Street when the driver failed to stop at a red light. The SUV collided with a passenger car and then continued off the road into the front of Chipotle.
The driver of the SUV was not hurt. The driver of the passenger car was trapped in the car and removed by Fort Wayne firefighters. The driver was taken to the hospital in serious condition.
The front of Chipotle sustained heavy cosmetic damage. Aluminum beams were crunched and nearly folded in half and several windows were shattered.
The Fort Wayne Fire Department surveyed the structural integrity of the building and said it was safe. They were not restricting access inside the building, except to keep people away from the front of the store.
Several employees were inside the restaurant at the time of the accident. They were in the back of the building finishing up closing responsibilities when they heard the crash.
An employee, Crosby North, told NewsChannel 15 it sounded like gunshots with all the glass shattering.
"The second I heard it, it was like a multitude of explosions, it was like three or four." Then I basically ducked because I just felt like hiding. I didn't know what was going on,"North said.
Tyler Painter was also an employee inside the store at the time.
"We first thought we were getting robbed, so we all kind of started heading for the back door," North said.
Painter said they began walking out front and noticed an SUV parked in the dining room.
North said employees were supposed to have a "cleaning party" where everyone cleans the entire restaurant. It was supposed to start at 10 p.m. but they decided to cancel at the last minute.
No one inside was hurt.
Crews closed eastbound Coliseum and both directions of Clinton near Coliseum for about 90 minutes while debris was moved from the road.
North said Chipotle will be closed Wednesday.
"The Health Department will look at it (after cleaning) and make sure it's safe to eat," North said.
Opinions that are derogatory, attack other users or are offensive in nature may be removed. WTHI is not responsible for the content posted in this comment section. We reserve the right to remove any offensive or off-topic remark or thread. To mark a comment for review by a moderator, click "Report Abuse."